I normally have people train with the idea that there are more ways than one to accomplish their exercise goals, however I also maintain that for each muscle group, there is a particular exercise movement which is the most effective.
This is true for the abdominal muscles . We all want an attractive mid-section, so it makes sense to try and find the most effective exercise for a flat stomach.
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Well, if you pay attention to the research, you will find that the consensus is that stabilizing the spine seems to the the way to most effectively activate the abdominal muscles.
Planking has been around for a long while but is recently making news.
Planking really does recruit muscle!
I recommend using planks in your routine. Now…you can still do crunches and twists but add a plank and you will like the effect.
Where to Start
Front and Side Planks:
Start with a front plank. Lie face down on the floor, then position yourself up on your toes and elbows. Lower your hips until they make contact with the floor….then raise up a few inches. This will make sure you’re completely prone. Hold this for 30 seconds.
Next, roll over onto your right side. Position yourself up onto your right elbow. Your right foot will be lying on its outside edge. Place the left foot on top (your feet will now be together). Hold for 15 seconds.
Reverse this over to your left side, left elbow, etc. Hold again for 15 seconds.
This is a good start but you will quickly find that you can extend the “hold” for 60 seconds on the front, 30 seconds on the sides. This is a good amount of time. Try it. You’ll like it!