No matter how many times you do crunches or sit-ups, if you are not doing anything about that extra layer of fat in your midsection, you won’t see any six packs appearing anytime soon. Although these two exercises can train your abdominal muscles, there are far better core workouts that will yield better results. Besides doing crunches and sit-ups repeatedly can have a negative effect on your posture which can become a problem in the long run.
If you want to achieve a strong core minus doing endless sit-ups and crunches, try these five plank workouts that will really challenge your abdominal muscles.
- Three-point plank. For this workout, you need to you go into a standard plank pose. Raise your right foot off the ground and hold it in place. See to it that you keep your body straight and your spine relaxed to ensure that you don’t tilt sideways as you hold this pose. Once you find your balance, hold your pose up to 10 seconds. Switch to the opposite leg.
- Rolling plank. To start this exercise, you will need to lie on your stomach with your forearms folded at chest level and parallel to the top portion of your mat. Press down on your forearms to lift your torso off the mat. Engage your core and keep your head aligned with your spine. Shift your weight to your left forearm while driving your right elbow upwards. Your body should tilt to the left with your legs staggered. Go back to first position and repeat with the opposite side.
- Side plank. Compared to traditional planks, the side plank will be a lot tougher to do so don’t worry if you can’t hold it longer. Lie on your left side with your legs stacked. Engage your core then lift yourself off the floor by raising your hips and pressing down on your left forearm. Make sure that your body maintains a straight line from your shoulder to your leg. Do the same with the opposite side.
- Walking plank. While you are in a forearm plank, move sideways by moving your right forearm and right leg. Your core should remain engaged and your hips squared as you move to the right. Do the same movement but this time going to the left. Reverse your movements so you can go back to your first position then repeat.
- Bosu plank with hip extension. If you are looking for another challenging plank exercise, doing planks with a BOSU ball will definitely fit the bill. For starters, go down into a plank position with your hands gripping the sides of the bosu with the dome pointing downwards. While you tighten your core, raise your right leg off the floor and hold for a few seconds. Do the same with the other leg. Make sure that you keep your balance as you raise your legs one at a time.
Combine these tough core workouts with proper diet and you will see those abdominal muscles coming out from underneath the layers of fat that have been hiding them.