Ever heard that planks are the way to get the enviable six-pack that so many people chase after? If you’ve never done planks before, after this exercise, you’ll see that there is a lot of truth to that statement.
The following article will explain why plank exercises work, what you need to know about this exercise, the best planks for flatten tummy, and what else you can do to keep your abs in shape.
How to do Planks for Flatten Tummy
Not all abs workouts are created equally. If you’ve been doing sit-ups your whole life, once you start planking, you’re guaranteed to feel a whole different kind of burn.
With this exercise (when they’re performed properly), you’re that much closer to the six-pack of your dreams. Even when you reach the point that you’ve mastered the plank, there are always more upgrades you can do to help shape up your body.
The Length of the Plank
In the big beautiful world of fitness, the proper length of this exercise has been greatly debated. To get the most of your planking sessions, it’s best to hold three planks for a total of 60 seconds each.
Experts suggest that that length of time is ideal for making the most of the abs-busting exercises.
For anyone new to doing planks for flattening the tummy, starting off at 60 seconds isn’t advisable. Play it safe by sticking with shorter sets for your plank exercises and working your way up to 60 seconds.
Forcing yourself to do planks for longer than you’re able to will put a strain on your lower back. If you start to get tired and keep going anyway, you’re lower back will arch and will put you at risk of developing an injury.
Start off planking by going for 10 seconds at first, relaxing the next five to 10 seconds, then going again for another ten seconds. Repeat these planking sets between three and six times.
Planking for a shorter period of time will still work to strengthen your core. Experts point out that the more you plank (even if it’s for a short period of time), the better you engage these muscles.
For Planking Experts
In the event that you are a planking expert, one minute may be easy for you. If you have built up the strength to withstand a minute, try increasing the difficulty by actively contracting your abs, then squeezing your quads and your glutes.
If you think you can handle it, try adding weights to your planking. This works best if you are doing side plank exercises and using free weights. Start with one dumbbell and practice rotating it underneath your engaged arm and above your head.
The more you get used to this exercise, the more weight you can use.
Exercises to Get Abs
Set on getting your abs whipped into shape this year? With a consistent schedule and daily motivation, you’ll be planking your way to the six-pack of your dreams.
The best thing about this exercise is that it is the leading exercise that experts recommend for creating a toned stomach as it works every muscle in your core. From the rectus abdominis to the hips, back, obliques, and transverse abdominals, you really giving your core a workout when you put in time with your plank exercises.
The following exercises are variations that are guaranteed to put you in the right direction to get your six pack. Start these exercises for 30 seconds at first, then do each variation once. Repeat the whole series two or more times. After you get comfortable with these first four planks, try to incorporate the next three planks. The Try to hold these for at least 30 seconds.
If you’re ready for a real killer workout, combine seven of the following plank exercises into one intense routine:
1. The Plank
Start off the most basic of plank exercises by getting into the pushup position and go onto your elbows.
Rest all of your weight onto your forearms, with your hands out in front. Your body should then form a line straight from your ankles to your shoulders.
Next, brace your core almost as if you might if you were about to be punched in the stomach. Feel the burn yet?
Keep holding this position for these first 30 seconds. Remember to breathe deeply throughout this exercise.
2. Plank and Leg Lift
Get into the plank position as your abs are tight and your forearms are on the ground. Then, engage your glutes as you lift and hold one leg with your foot several inches off the floor.
Keep the foot flexed. Do this exercise with 10 lifts on both legs, switching legs after each set.
3. Side Plank
Lie on the left side with both knees straight. Prop up your body with your left forearm and elbow.
Your feet should be stacked.
Raising your hips, your body should form a straight line all the way from your shoulders to your ankles. Holding this position for a 30 second period, brace your abs and breathe in deeply for the rest of this exercise.
Repeat this same exercise on the other side.
4. Side Plank with a Leg Lift
Start this exercise in the same way as the previous one. Though you begin this with your feet stacked, you will start lifting your top leg as high as possible while trying to maintain the proper form.
Flex your foot and keep your toes pointed down. Lower the leg then repeat this until you have completed 10 reps.
Repeat the exercise on the other leg by switching sides.
5. Straight-Arm Plank
Get into the pushup position with your hands on your floor underneath your shoulders, keeping your seams straight.
Move your feet closer together, keeping your legs straightened. Your weight should be on your toes.
As your body forms a straight line from the head to the ankles, start bracing your abs, squeezing your glutes, and keeping your body right.
Hold your position for 30 seconds or a minute if possible.
6. Straight-Arm Plank and Shoulder Touch
This exercise starts to get a little more intense. Begin these plank exercises in the same pushup position with both hands beneath your shoulders on the floor, arms straight.
With your weight on your toes, start dropping your shoulders down and maintain a straight line between your ankles and head.
Keep your hips still as you lift the right hand, then move it to tap your left shoulder.
Next, move your hand back onto the floor and repeat this move with the other hand. Keep alternating this exercise for 30 seconds.
7. Straight-Arm Plank with Raise
Start this exercise in a pushup position, keeping your shoulders straight with your hands underneath and legs straight.
Raise then straighten the right arm, keeping your thumb pointed out. Hold this position for 5 – 10 seconds. Switch arms.
Keep alternating until the time is up, making sure your hips stay still throughout the exercise.
Other Ways to Get Abs
While plank exercises are an important way to whip your core into shape, they aren’t the only exercise you can perform to get abs. In addition to these ab-busting plank exercises, you should also consider other types of best practices for healthy lifestyles and fitness like cardio, HIIT, and diet.
If your body tends to accumulate fat around your midsection, you likely need to consider your diet in addition to ab work.
Experts tend to focus on nutrition more than exercise when working with clients to help them slim down. While you won’t lose weight overnight, eating healthy will allow you to start losing weight and seeing the hard earned results of all your ab work.
Losing one pound requires you to reduce your daily caloric intake by 3,500. Thus, by reducing your intake by 1,000 calories each day, you’ll be able to lose two pounds each week.
While going on a diet may seem like a great idea, it’s better to focus on eating more balanced meals. Try to monitor your caloric intake by eating more vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and drinking a lot of water.
The healthier you eat, the more of an impact your hard work in the gym will have.
HIIT is high-intensity interval training. This well-rounded fitness regimen includes cardiovascular and aerobic exercises like the stairs or treadmill. Additionally, HIIT works with strength training to improve your heart rate.
It is recommended that an individual fits in 30 minutes or more moderate-level physical activity five days out of the week or engages in a high-intensity activity for 20 minutes, three days a week.
This high-intensity training involves training with intervals of highly intense activity interspersed with a shorter recovery period. There is no one way to train HIIT and this can be adapted to fit all levels to meet an individual’s particular fitness capabilities. These HIIT workouts help to induce the secretion of hormones that burn fat and help to boost your metabolism.
Final Thoughts on Planks for Flatten Tummy
A plank is a secret weapon to getting a flatter tummy. Whether you’re preparing for the summer or you’re just working to improve your fitness routine, keep these tips in mind.
Whatever your fitness level may be, you can find a way to add planking to your routine. Use this guide to help you get the flat stomach you’ve been working towards.