Great Ab Combo
Plank Exercises Demonstration
Don’t think about another ab exercise until you’ve mastered this one.
Even though you’re still and don’t use weight, this is still a great core exercise. Planks do more then work your abs. The also hit your shoulders, arms, back, and glutes.
My friends over at Critical Bench put together this short video. It shows you a great little ab combo to help build core strength and get those abs to pop.
Once you’re done with all your main lifts give this ab combo a try:
- 10 second low plank hold
- 5 oblique tucks each side
- repeat 3 time
- rest 1 – 2 minutes and repeat ab combo up to 4 time
Each week add 5 seconds to the plank and 1 rep to the oblique tucks.
As simple as it may seem, planks are a difficult exercise. And they’re easy to mess up. That’s why it’s common to see it done wrong. Here are a few common errors you’ll want to avoid.
- Hips high - Don't let butt get high than shoulders.
- Hips Too Low - Don't allow your hips to sink below your shoulders
- Hunched Upper Back - Don't flex the upper back to carry load.
How To Do The Plank The Right Way
If you’ve made any of the common errors from above, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll see injury specialist Rick Kaselj go through how to do a proper plank. So take a minute to watch how to do a plank properly.
Don’t waste another second doing an ineffective exercise. Watch this video.
- With your elbows bent at 90 degrees your weight rests on your forearms and toes.
- Your elbows directly beneath shoulders. Move them further away from your body and it increase difficulty.
- Make sure there is a straight line form your head to your feet. On that line will lie your shoulders, hips, and ankles.
How Do You Rate
<30 Seconds = Needs Work
30 – 60 Seconds = Average
60- 90 seconds = Good
90-120 seconds = nice work
>120 seconds = Strong core, healthy back. This is your goal.
I don’t recommend you do planks for hours. It can get kind of tedious. Just use these times as a test. See where you rank.
When you can easily do a 60 second plank it’s time to think about adding some variation to increase difficulty.
Simplest way to increase difficulty is to remove a point of ground contact. Pick up a foot, leg, or both. This decreases stability making your core work that much harder.
Another way to up intensity is to get as much distance as possible between your hands and feet. More distance means more work. When this variation becomes dynamic it’s called a bodysaw. To do a bodysaw place your feet on something that slides, then move them forward and back.
If you’ve mastered planks you may want to step things up and give this a shot…