Planking For a Flat Stomach – Here’s What To Do. When it comes to getting a flat belly, planks are at the top of the list of ideal exercises to do. It is, after all, an exercise that everyone swears by, whether fitness enthusiasts or even pro athletes. Plank activates the core and effectively reduces belly fat, revealing washboard abs that many of us have always wanted.
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In a nutshell:
You already know how to do the most basic plank, right?
For best results, trainers suggest doing other variations of planking, such as incline plank.
Keep watching to know what to do for each variation.
1. Incline Plank
The incline plank is an easier variation of the plank, most ideal for beginners.
This variation can also be done with your forearms or palms resting on a step or bench.
How to do it:
Put your forearms or palms on a flat, elevated surface while keeping your elbows directly under your shoulders.
Next, walk your feet back until your body forms a straight line on a diagonal.
Now, pull your abs in, tucking your tailbone slightly and actively pressing into your forearms or palms.
Hold this position for at least 30 seconds.
2. Plank with Arm Lift
Another way to add variety to the basic plank is to add an arm lift, either by pressing into the opposite forearm or palm.
This is a more challenging plank variation.
To perform a plank with an arm lift, follow these steps:
How to do it:
Assume a traditional plank position.
Now, steadily shift your weight to your right forearm.
From there, put out your left arm straight in front of you.
Maintain this position for three seconds while keeping your core tight.
Slowly put your arm back in the starting position.
Then switch arms and repeat. Complete 2-3 sets of 10 reps.
If there’s a plank with an arm lift, then there’s also a plank with a leg lift.
More about this plank variation here:
3. Plank with Leg Lift
When performing a leg lift plank, you must be in a plank position with your forearms and toes on the floor.
You may also perform the movement on your hands, instead of your forearms to make it less challenging.
How to do it:
First off, get in a forearm plank.
Next, slowly raise one leg 5 to 8 inches off the floor.
Then count to two and slowly lower your leg to the floor.
Switch legs and repeat.
Complete 2-3 sets of 10 reps.
Now that we’ve covered the base, next up is the ideal time one should hold a plank.
How long should you hold a plank?
Experts say that to reap the most rewards, you should hold 3 planks for up to 60 seconds each.
Maintaining good form while holding a plank for 60 seconds allows you to effectively utilize your core muscles and keep them under control for roughly the amount of time you may be doing other exercises.
If you can’t hold it for 60 seconds straight, split it into equal parts, say, 2 sets of 30-sec planking or 3 sets of 20-sec planking.
Tired of alternating between a couple of plank variations?
There are a ton of other exercises you can easily incorporate that promote a flat stomach.
Click here to know what these exercises are:
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