Are you sick of hiding your belly under baggy tops or buying your pants a size too big so your stomach won’t spill over the waistband?
You’re not alone. The stomach is a major, if not the major problem area, for men and women.
Contrary to what many people believe, doing thousands of sit-ups or crunches all day, every day, will not get you closer to achieving those washboard abs.
Fitness experts found your solution: an exercise that can replace as many as 1,000 sit-ups.
This exercise is called the ‘plank’. It is a static exercise. You are only using your body weight by keep your body straight while balancing on your hands and toes without movements. This incredibly effective exercise only takes 60 seconds.
Here is how to do it:
When you do planks, the most important thing is to have a good form. Follow these instructions to find the correct starting position:
- Press your palms firmly to the ground. Stretch your shoulders and keep your neck elongated.
- Your hands should be comfortable.
- Squeeze your glutes so your lower body muscles get activated. Keep them low so your body is in a straight line, not a triangle or a sinking ship.
- You should feel some burn in your legs too. If not, set your heels further apart. Don’t rely on your toes so much.
When you have the perfect position, you are ready to start:
- Press your hands on the ground. Press your knees on the ground as well.
- Make sure that your wrists are in line with your shoulders. Keep your back straight.
- Look up, but not too much, only about 30 inches ahead of you. The back of your head should be parallel to the ceiling. Your nose should be facing the ground.
- Stretch your left leg to back then extend your right leg as well. You should be keeping your entire body up on your hands and toes.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Hold for about 20-60 seconds. If you can only do 20 seconds now, it’s okay. Keep gradually increasing the time until you can make it to 60 seconds.
- Take a small break for about 20 – 30 seconds in child’s pose or stretching out on the ground.
- Do this exercise 3 times in a row. Soon you will be able to repeat this 3 times for 60 seconds each rep. Do this 3 – 4 times a week for the best results.
The plank is by far my favorite exercise. What’s yours?
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