Marissa Nieves, Fitness Expert for the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges has provided her key tips to perfecting the ultimate core exercise – the Plank.
Planks are one of the most popular core exercises on the planet for a variety of reasons. They go to extremes at working the transverse abdominus (muscles often missed in crunches and sit-ups). However, they are not only brilliant for core strength and endurance, planks are full-body exercises that also target the upper and lower legs, glutes, back, shoulders, upper and lower arms and chest (just to name a few).
Always make sure that your muscles are warmed up before performing planks to ensure your body is in its best possible state to increase strength and stability without causing injury.
Create a quick plank workout by performing 4 or more variations of planks for 1 minute or more within a 10-minute period.
To create a HIIT workout using planks, perform a 10-minute plank workout followed by 10 minutes of cardiovascular activity.
Perform this workout 3-4 times a week to increase flexibility, core strength, endurance and overall muscle strengthening and toning. Remember rest days are also important for muscle growth and recovery.
Simple variations include knee and elbow planks for beginners, intermediate planks such as full plank holds and those variations with arm raises or ball rolls or advanced planks such as plank with leg raises and side versions that further engage the obliques.
Move at a pace that suits your level of core strength and stability and make sure you perform all side planks on both sides to prevent muscle imbalance.
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