You may have heard the saying that abs are made in the kitchen. It’s true. Without a proper diet, no amount of beginner plank exercises will give you the flat stomach you desire. However, that doesn’t mean you should abandon abs work-outs altogether.
Strengthening your core has benefits that go beyond creating sexy flat abs. Your core is involved in almost everything you do. Weak core muscles can lead to bad posture, lower back pain, and leave you susceptible to other muscle injuries. By strengthening your core, you can prevent yourself from a lot of pain later down the road.
1. Plank Walks
- Step 1: Begin in plank position on hands and toes, arms straight and hands directly below your shoulders.
- Step 2: Lower down onto your left forearm, then down onto your right forearm. Lift back up onto your left hand, then back onto your right hand.
- Step 3: Alternate lowering and lifting on both arms. Repeat for 20 seconds for 3 sets.
2. Forearm Plank
- Step 1: Begin in plank position, then drop down to both forearms.
- Step 2: Hold here for as long as you can. Gradually build up your endurance until you can hold this position for up to one minute.
3. Side Plank
- Step 1: Begin in the forearm plank position.
- Step 2: Carefully twist your body over onto your right side so that only your right forearm remains on the ground, and your other arm rests comfortably on your side. For an extra challenge, try lifting your left arm and leg in the air.
- Step 3: Hold this position for as long as you can, gradually building up to one minute. Repeat on your other side.
4. Knee Plank
- Step 1: Begin in a tabletop position with hands and knees on the ground, arms straight and hands directly below shoulders.
- Step 2: Tuck your toes into the floor and slightly raise your knees off the ground, keeping your abs tight and back straight. For an extra challenge, alternate tapping one knee at a time on the ground.
- Step 3: Hold plank for 20 seconds for 3 sets.
Working your abs is essential for any balanced exercise program. While a proper diet has the most effect on creating clear-cut abs, that’s no to say abs exercises don’t play a role:
Doing these beginner plank exercises builds muscle, and muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns calories, therefore raising your metabolism.
And one of the most effective moves for building core strength and stability is the plank. The above four plank variations can be done at home or at the gym.
As with all exercising, practicing good form prevents injury and makes the moves more effective.