Do you want toned abs, strong legs, defined arms and a pain free back?
The plank is one of the best exercises that targets all of these areas. The primary focus of the plank is to improve core stability, strength and endurance.
The added benefit? The plank burns more calories than sit ups or crunches because it works the entire body and gives the legs, arms and glutes a workout.
Planks work all the core muscles (rectus abdominus,transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips and back).
Why do we want to strengthen these muscles and not just focus on our six pack? Strengthening these muscles not only flattens out your stomach but these muscles provide support to the entire body, reduces back pain, and improves posture.
Try each exercise for 30 seconds and build up to one minute. Repeat these exercises 3X through. You can incorporate this routine at the end of your workouts or do these exercises while watching tv or a movie. Have fun and live beautifully!
Bring elbows under shoulders and nose over hands. Bring both feet together and keep spine straight. Engage legs and core.
2. Plank with Leg Lift:
Bring elbows under shoulders and nose over hands. Bring both feet together and keep spine straight. Engage legs and core. Lift one leg at a time, keeping your foot flexed. Engage glutes to lift your leg. Do 10 lifts each side.
3. Side Plank:
Come onto your side and bring your elbow right underneath shoulder. Stack feet on top of one another. Keep back and arm straight.
4. Side Plank with Leg Lift:
Come onto your side and bring your elbow right underneath shoulder. Stack feet on top of one another. Keep back and arm straight. Lift top leg with toe pointed down. Do 10 each side.
As always, if you have any questions about your ability to perform these exercises safely, check with your doctor or physical therapist.