Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This would be it

I continue to evangelize about the wonders of the ab plank, a simple, easy to perform anywhere, yet effective exercise that works my abdominal and core muscles better, in my opinion, than any sit-up or crunch variation.

What is the ab plank exercise? Most middle-age men fitness warriors know of the ab plank exercise so the following explanation is for those who do not.

The ab plank exercise is from the family of static isometric postures, various exercises in which you hold your body in a fixed position for a period of time, either for multiple sets with short rest periods between sets or for a single set as long as possible.

There are several variations of the ab plank exercise but the one I’ll describe is the standard garden variety ab plank exercise. Begin on the floor face down resting on your forearms with your palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels, like a wooden plank. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominal muscles to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air.

This exercise works all my abdominal and core muscles and eventually works my back muscles as time goes on. I prefer a single set for a maximum hold time. My best effort is a 5:01 set but I can’t do that now.

Here’s a short video I found demonstrating this exercise:

The best way to sum up how much I like this exercise is a frequent testimonial I make about it – if there was only one ab/core exercise I could perform, this would be it.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Charles Long said...

Try this when doing planks: do your static hold in the normal position like you wrote about. Then move your arms out and hold. Move back to normal then move them forward and hold. It adds a new dimension to it. It is a good exercise.

pierini said...

Hi Charles,

That is challenging as is doing that with lifting the opposite leg up at the same time.

I've primarily stuck to the basic ab plank in trying to maximize hold time.

Thanks for the reminder about variation.