If you’re serious about core training, then the plank should be one of the top exercises on your list. Throw out the crunches and sit-up’s, start protecting your back, and let’s learn the in’s and out’s of the plank.
We get asked all the time…”Why don’t we do any crunches or sit-up’s?”
The answer is simple!
There’s just a better options out there. Sure…crunches and sit-up’s can give you abs, but so doesn’t watching your nutrition and what you put in your body. Sure…crunches and sit up’s make your abs burn like a pale white person laying in the sun all day, but once again, there’s just a better way to train.
At Complete Fitness Results, we’re all about training smart. Hell, that phrase is in our logo for God’s sake. Training smart is exactly why we don’t do crunches and sit-ups. Deadbug’s, Birddog’s, and Planks are just better options. You’ll get the same amount of work out of your abdominals, but you’ll save your spine in the process.
Without bashing crunches and sit-up’s any further, lets talk about why we like the plank:
- There are several variations of the plank that will work core stability to the max.
- The plank teaches you how to maintain a neutral spine under load.
- Done properly, the plank will help improve posture
- Planks will give you a beautiful set of 6-pack abs, if you’re watching your nutrition and doing some strength training to top things off.
The plank is basically a step above the deadbug and birddog. If you’ve missed those foundational exercises, be sure to check those out as well. With all three versions, we’re really starting to learn how to use our midsection without compensating from the spine, neck, or pelvis. We always recommend getting good at the previous two exercises before diving into the plank. They both reinforce what a neutral spine looks and feels like, so when you move to the more challenging plank, you’ll have a better idea of what your spine, neck, and pelvis should feel like when they’re centered and aligned.
Give the plank a shot, and feel the burn. If going from the floor is challenging, try adding a box or bench to increase the incline. This will help decrease the load so you can learn to breathe and hold this position without having to compensate. Check out the video below for a quick demo of the plank: