Planking for Strong Abs

Working your abs can be as easy as performing four simple moves two to three times a week.

plank-excersiceAll you need is to set aside about 15 to 20 minutes every other day and you’ll be standing tall and looking trim in no time. Of course, training alone won’t give you the six-pack of your dreams.

It is in the kitchen where you need the most help. So ditch the starch for whole grains, limit your sugars and bad fats, increase your MUFAs and protein and you’re well on your way.

Planking for Smooth Abs

Side Plank with Feet Elevated

side_plankTo set up the exercise, retrieve a platform that is approximately one foot off of the ground. Then position your body on its side and place your feet on the platform stacked one on top of the other. Raise your body up off of the ground and position your lower arm so your forearm is flat on the floor and your hand is facing the same direction as the rest of your body. Your upper hand should be resting on your hip with your arm slightly bent. Hold this position while making sure to keep your shoulder blades pulled back. Maintain this position and keep your body as still as possible until you reach exhaustion. Repeat 3 more sets. Advanced users can replace a platform with a Swiss Ball to increase the stability training and difficulty level.

Plank Pull-Ups

swiss-ball-jackknifeRest your legs on a Swiss Ball and get into a push-up position. There are three positions for this exercise that will change the difficulty level. For advanced people, your feet should rest on the ball; for intermediate, your ankles should rest on the ball; and for beginners, your shins should rest on the ball. With your arms full extended and palms flat on the ground, pull up your knees into your chest and breathe out. Hold for one count. Push or roll the ball back to the starting position, straightening out your legs and repeat. Focus on keeping y our back strong and avoid sagging in the middle. Perform 12-15 repetitions and 4 total sets.

Plank with Feet Elevated

elevated plank exercisePlace your feet pointing down onto a platform or Swiss Ball and position your body as if you’re going to perform a standard push-up with arms fully extended. Hold his position while maintaining steady form. Continue until you reach exhaustion and repeat for 3 total sets.

 

 

Plank with Arm and Opposite Leg Raised

alternating plankStart in a standard plank position. Then raise one leg while keeping your other limbs in place. Then lower your leg and raise one arm. Finish by trying to raise a leg and the opposite arm while holding your position until you reach exhaustion. Repeat 3 more sets for a total of 4.

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