Most women are determined to get a defined, flat stomach.
But after years of doing 500 crunches during every workout, they learn that determination only gets them so far when the approach is wrong. Even an entire hour of crunches won’t match the body benefits of a 10-minute plank workout.
The plank is one of the best exercises for a flat, toned stomach because it works all the muscles in your core, including the rectus abdominus (the “six-pack muscles” you can see), transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips, and back.
Plus, planks burn more calories than sit-ups or crunches because they recruit muscles in the legs, arms, and rear too. It’s truly the ultimate total-body toner!
Follow these simple tips to become a perfect planker and exercise your way to a flat stomach fast:
- Start with your elbows on the floor, under your shoulders, and your forearms flat on the floor. Lift up onto your toes and keep your whole body in one straight line from heels to head. Look down at your hands and ensure your hips aren’t too high or low.
- Hold the plank for 20 seconds to start with, building to 60 seconds – and remember to breathe! Repeat three times.
- Rotate pelvis under to reduce pressure on your lower back and to aid posture.
- Keep your whole body level, not arched at the waist or hips.
- The wider you have your feet, the more stable you are and the easier you’ll find it.
Set a reasonable starting goal. It’s ok to work your way up to your plank goal. Success with planks is all about form. Think about how long you can hold a plank with proper form. If you can do a plank for 15 seconds before you lose your form, Great! Hold for 15 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and start again. 5 minutes worth of planks may take you 10 minutes to accomplish when you add in rest periods. Remember, slow and steady wins this race.
Practice doing it right. You’ll get much better if you practice every day, no matter what. Keep your form and really focus on your movements.
Do whatever it takes to keep your goal happening. It’s not easy to do this goal. For 5 minutes every day, you’ll feel a little bit like you are going to die. Planks are tough stuff! But these tips will really help. Practice every day counting slowly to 10 with each :30 set. And guess what – it’ll make those seconds go by much faster. We’d also suggest listening to music.
You can do this and it will be worth it!