One of the best ab exercises you can do to get that six-pack is the plank. Trainers love plank exercises because they rely on body weight and increase your body's stability without the necessity of an exercise ball or other equipment.
Plank exercises can also help strengthen and tone your back, shoulders, thighs and butt. This makes performing planks one of the most effective full-body exercises and a valuable move in your workout toolbox.
While performing planks are an excellent way to build your core, there are variations you can do to achieve greater results, like six-pack abs. Here are some ways to incorporate variety in your plank exercises:
- Elbows and Knees: The classic elbows and knees plank is the best way to build up strength. It's also a good starting point to boost endurance before trying more advanced plank movements.
- Side Plank: A side plank focuses on your obliques more than the traditional plank. You can perform it by placing one forearm on the ground, stacking your shoulders over your elbow, and either stacking your feet, or staggering them.
- Plyo Side Plank: The plyo side plank takes the side plank to another level by having you perform a kick with your top leg while in the plank position.
- RKC Hardstyle: The RKC Hardstyle plank requires full-body tension while holding the position. To perform the RKC plank, first place your elbows directly beneath your shoulders, with your forearms parallel, and your palms flat on the floor, fingers spread. Keep your body in a straight line, from head to heels, with feet and knees touching each other. Squeeze together your heels, knees and glutes. Press your palms into the floor, and without moving, pull your elbows towards your toes. Be sure to maintain a neutral neck position, by keeping your gaze towards the floor. Hold this for as long as you can before releasing to your knees.
- Elevated Plank: If you're ready to take your planks to the next level, then try elevating your feet for added resistance by using a standard weight bench, exercise ball or Bosu ball.
More: Mastering the Plank
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