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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kyle Demonstrating the Side Lunge
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.
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.