Summer is here, and this is the perfect time to strengthen our abs. Science and research is moving us away from infinte situps and crunches, exercises that lose their effectiveness after a few repetitions. Doing thousands of sit ups will yield diminishing returns. Hundreds of crunches is also discouraged, as this move places a lot of pressure on the back at its weakest point.
The plank is now popularized as one of the best ways to work your abs. Not only is this exercise a safer option for your spine, it also uses more muscles than the crunch or situp – giving you a more complete workout.
For a safer, more effective morning ab routine, try holding a plank for as long as you can. Beginners, aim for 60 seconds. As you get more advanced, try to work your way up to the 5-minute plank.
Here are some quick technique tips:
Elbows directly under shoulders
Draw the belly towards the spine and brace
Drop the hips down
For more variety in your plank exercise, try this quick-yet-challenging plank routine. In less than 4 minutes, you will feel your heart rate soar and your mid section getting firmer. Set to an all time classic – Vulindela by Brenda Fassie, this routine incorporates leg movements into your ab workout to target your lower abs, and the plank walk to challenge your upper body strength.
For more work outs for firmer abs, check this video out:
Photo Credit: www.magazinecut.com/