Plank Exercises
for Lean and Sexy Abs

Plank exercises are seen by many fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts as perhaps the best body weight exercise available to strengthen and tighten your core muscles. 

Planks will help you reach small and deeper core muscles that are the foundation for tight and muscular abdominal muscles.

Another area that gets needed attention from the plank routine are the shoulders, collarbone, and shoulder blades. These are also areas that don't seem to get enough attention. 


Traditional Plank

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start this exercise by getting into a push-up position with your weight balanced on your forearms and toes as pictured. 

  • Engage your abdominal muscles and hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. It is important that you keep your back in a straight line.


traditional plank exercise

Tips:

  • Once you get comfortable with this position, you can increase the level of difficulty by lifting one leg into the air or by slowly bringing your left knee to your right elbow. 

  • The longer you can hold the pose, the stronger your back will be, and the better your abs will look.


Side Plank

The side plank does a good job of working your oblique muscles and hip flexors. If you are like many of us that spend to much time sitting, those hip muscles can become overly-tight which can result in pain and/or injury.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Lie on your right side with your feet straight out and stacked on top of each other. Have your right arm bent and your elbow directly under your shoulder.

  • Lift your hips and legs off the ground in a straight line, propped up by your forearm.

  • Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat on your other side.


side lunge exerciseKyle Demonstrating the Side Lunge

Tips:

  • This exercise is typically done with both legs together as you lift your knees and hips off the ground. To add a degree of difficulty you can try to raise one leg in the air.

More on the Side Plank

More on Hip Flexor Exercises


Exercise Ball Plank

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start by setting up in the plank position with your arms resting on the top of the ball. 

  • You should be in a straight line from your head to your toes. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds.


exercise ball plank

Tips: 

  • You can increase the intensity by keeping your feet close together.

More Exercise Ball Ab Exercises


Benefits of Plank Exercises

  • Strength - This exercise helps to strengthen your upper body, lower body, and your midsection core muscles.

  • Calorie Burner - Because you are working so many muscle groups at the same time. The calories burned during the exercise are magnified at least 30% over an isolated muscle exercise.

  • Stomach Tone - Among all of the popular ab exercises, the plank is the ultimate exercise to flatten your stomach.
  • Convenience - This is a great exercise to do at home or on the road. It is one of the simplest exercises you can do without any sports equipment.

  • Aesthetics - Strengthening the core muscles will help to provide stability to your spine and hips. This will compliment your appearance by making your posture better.

  • Back Pain -  Because you are strengthening the muscles that support the lower back and spine, you will not be as susceptible to consistent back.


Other pages that might interest you:


I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.




» » Plank Exercises


Join the Health and Fitness 
Conversation on Our Fitness House Facebook 

KIM'S FITNESS TIPS

Ask Kim Mulligan Your Fitness Questions

Daily Tips for Staying Healthy and Fit

Printable Workouts and Diet/Food Lists and Charts

Recent Articles

  1. Wall Squats for Stronger Upper Legs

    Nov 19, 18 06:11 AM

    Wall squats are a simple way to add strength to your upper legs and burn an amazing number of calories at the same time. Use our illustrated instructions to ensure proper execution and avoid injury.

    Read More

  2. Post Workout Meal - Refuel with the Right Stuff

    Nov 18, 18 06:03 PM

    See how your post workout meal could be the most important meal of the day. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand.

    Read More

  3. Healthy Nutritious Snack Foods to Maintain High Energy Levels

    Nov 18, 18 02:39 PM

    Healthy nutritious snack foods can be difficult to come up with at times, especially when hunger hits. These snack recipes are easy to make, taste great, and will keep you full and satisfied.

    Read More