A strong core is essential to correctly perform strength training exercises, to lift a maximum amount of weight, improving athletic performance, reduce your risk of injuries and functioning effectively throughout your daily life activities.
There are many different ways to train your core. In this workout we will be focusing on plank variations to strengthen the abdominal core region.
Planks may not look like much but they are one of the best exercise variations to building strong abs from the inside out. This is an often over looked exercise but every minute you spent planking will never be a waste of time.
Planks train your abs to be in a contracted state when your spine is in a neutral position. Most other abs exercises require either flexing forward of the spine or your lower or upper trunk to rotate forward.
Planks are also a great exercise to use if you have a back injury, like myself. I am currently suffering from sciatic nerve radiation and am limited to the flexion that I can do, but using plank variations allows me to continually train my abs and strength the core.
The side plank variations in this workout are key for oblique development without adding bulk. Because side planks are isometric in nature you do not need to worry about adding muscle to that area.
Warning: Don”t ever do those side bends where you hold a dumbbell in one arm and bend against resistance…this will build size to your oblique muscles. Bigger obliques aren”t what you are aiming for.
Core Crusher Circuit Finisher
This is a follow along Core Crusher finisher that I used at the end of my conditioning class the other day. It uses 10 plank variations done of time intervals. You can use this as a standalone abs strengthen circuit or at the end of your regular training session.
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds followed by a 5 second rest.
Complete 1-2 rounds
(Take 60s rest if 2 Rds)
2. Plank Alt Arm Raises
3. Plank Body Raise
4. Side Plank Leg Lifts (Right)
5. Side Plank Leg Lifts (Left)
6. Plank with Alt Leg Lifts
7. Spiderman Planks
8. Side Plank (Right)
9. Side Plank (Left)
10. Walking Planks