Planks for a Strong Core

Forget the crunches. Skip the leg raises. Right now my short on time ab workout of choice is planks.  Plank exercises target all major core muscles and build strength. They are a great way to focus on core stability when you only have a short amount of time. Being able to maintain a stable core is vital to activities of daily living as well as success in sports performance.Planks provide an intense abdominal workout by causing the abdominal muscles to hold your body in a given position.

Front Plank
Side Plank

 Oftentimes, abdominal activities take precedent during core training and the back (specifically the lower back) muscles are ignored. Planks allow you to work both back and abdominal muscles at the same time, which helps to maintain overall core stability. Core injuries, primarily back injuries, develop due to a mismatch in strength between the abdominals and stabilizing back muscles due to the over emphasis of abdominal workouts. Planks are a great way to engage the entire core  in one simple exercise. In order to increase the difficulty and get even more out of the time, there are some additional movements you can add to the standard plank.

Here is my plank workout. To see a demonstration, head over to the Dine, Dash & Deadlift Facebook page!

Front Plank: Hold for 20 seconds. Then 20 twists (10 each side). Hold for remainder of minute. Repeat 3x.

Side Plank 1: Hold for 20 seconds. 10 dips. Hold for remainder of minute. Repeat 2x on each side.                                                          Side Plank 2: Hold for 20 seconds. 10 twists. Hold for remainder of minute. Repeat 2x each side.

*I combined the two side plank exercises in to one video so as not to bore you all!

What is your favorite plank workout or variation?

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8 thoughts on “Planks for a Strong Core

    • Tanya says:

      You should start a little Plank a Day workout in your office! Say just before lunch you all do 1 minute of forwards plank and 30 sec – 1 minute each side of side planks! I know a lof of people who have a similar set up in their office with pushups and situps. I think planks would be easier to do in work clothes than the other 2 exercises!

    • Tanya says:

      Hmm, I’m not positive. My neck gets stiff when I bike so to help alleviate that I make an effort to do neck circles or stretch it to the right, left, and then up and down as well every so often. Maybe that would be something to try out while doing planks?

  1. jason says:

    2 great variations are to do raised planks where you put your feet or arms up on something or to do planks with a swiss ball where you are constantly moving forward and backward.

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