Plank exercise is one of the best abdominal exercises, that also help to workout on the back muscles. It also makes use of arms and legs, thus strengthening and building the muscles of arms and legs too. One needs endurance to perform this exercise, and it is advised that beginners should first perform other basic abdominal and back exercises before starting with the plank exercises. Also, one needs to maintain a proper posture while performing the plank exercise routine, to avoid any muscle injury and get the best out of these exercises.
Plank Exercise Variations
Given below, are the various exercises that you can include in your plank exercise routine to build great endurance for abs, the back and also stabilize muscles.
Basic Plank Exercise: On a mat lie face down, with your forearms and palms flat on the floor. Then push off from the ground, by raising up onto your toes and resting the elbows. Make sure you maintain your back flat in a straight line from head to the heels. You can tilt your pelvis and contract ab muscles, to prevent your bottom sticking in the air or sagging in the middle. Hold this position for 20 seconds, then lower down and perform 3 repetitions. As you gain more stamina, hold the posture longer and perform more reps. If you find this exercise to be very difficult, then perform this exercise by balancing your body on your hands rather than elbows.
Side Plank Exercise: To perform the side plank exercise, lie down on one side by keeping your right hand on the floor or use a mat. People who are new to this exercise can use their elbow. Then lift yourself to form a plank with your right arm straight, and the left arm on your side, which can be placed on your hip. Hold this position for 20 seconds and perform 3-5 repetitions. Repeat the exercise, for other side of the body. Make sure you keep your body in a straight line, and contract your abs and butt muscles, while holding the side plank position. Read more on weight training.
Isometric Plank Exercise: To perform this half plank exercise, assume the basic plank position and balance your body on your elbows and knees, always keeping your body in a straight line. Keep your legs in the air, and balance your body only on your elbows and knees. Then hold the position for 25 seconds, and perform 5 repetitions.
Plank Exercise with Leg Lift: This strength training exercise is similar to the basic plank exercise. Lie down on the mat resting your elbows and feet. Then lift yourself, by keeping your body straight on elbows and toes. Then slowly lift your leg off the floor for 3 seconds, then slowly get the leg to the floor, and repeat with other leg. Perform around 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Plank with Arm Lift: To perform this exercise, lie down on the floor keeping your forearms and palms flat on the floor, then lift yourself up by raising on toes and resting on elbows. Keep your body straight, and contract your butt and abs, then slowly shift your weight to the right forearm, and extend your left arm straight in front of you. Hold this position for 3 seconds, and bring your arm slowly back to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm. Perform 2 sets of 8 repetitions of this plank back exercise.
This was the basic plank exercise and few variations of advanced plank exercise. So, form a routine with the above exercise to build endurance and great stabilizer muscles. Make sure you maintain a straight posture, and contract your abs and rear muscles, while holding the plank position.
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