Plank exercises are a great way to workout your entire core. They're basic, you only need your body and the floor, and you can make them as challenging or as easy as you want.
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It's called a 'plank' because the objective is to keep your body flat and tight during the exercise, like a wooden plank. Basically, they're incredibly versatile and useful. So, lets figure out the best plank exercise for you and get you going!
This is the regular 4-point plank, so called because you have 4-points of your body touching the floor; 2 forearms, and 2 feet. You're just keeping yourself slightly above and parallel to the floor.
To use this in your workout, take the position and just hold it for 30 seconds to a minute. Trust me, it's harder than it looks!
If that's too much for you, elevate yourself on your forearms and knees. This is an easier way to break yourself in to plank exercises.
The 3-point plank is done with either a hand or leg held up in the air. Thus, you only have 3-points where your body makes contact with the ground.
This is harder than the 4-point plank. To make it more interesting you can alternate which limb is off the ground during your exercise, but always making sure to have only 3-points in contact with the ground.
The 2-point plank is the most difficult plank, with only 1 forearm and 1 leg on the ground. This will really give your core a painful (and effective) workout - just stick it out to the painful end.
Try alternating this one, having your right arm and left leg in the air, and then switch in a slow and controlled manner. And be sure to keep good technique, with your body flat, horizontal, and parallel to the floor.
And remember, if you want to make any of these planks more intense you can wear a heavy backpack or have someone sit on your back. You can also extend your arms out further in front of you and/or use only your hands to support your body-weight.
Planks will build a strong core. But to get ripped, read How to Get Abs.
And try some of those plank variations if you ever start getting bored!
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