Sometimes when I plank it just feels like I am chilling. It's like I am about to do pushups but just can't quite get myself to do them. Or that I should be taking a picture and planking somewhere hilarious. But after some research and applying a bit of discipline, I have found a planking routine that gets me a really good core workout. And as with all of my other workouts, it doesn't take too long. This is a workout that I do NOT do at the gym btw. It's for those days that I didn't make it to the gym - its an easy at home workout.
All pictures are from Men's Health. Unfortunately they are not me.
Exercise 1: Extended Plank.
I consider this one a warmup. You have to really concentrate on engaging your core to get it to burn your abs. It's just a bit too easy and boring. I like more intense exercises. Anyways, do 2 sets for 30 seconds each, 10 seconds rest in between.
Exercise 2: Single Leg Side Plank.
Now we are talking. This is significantly harder for me. Even though you get to put your elbow / forearm on the ground, raising that second leg is tough. 2 sets on each side x 30 seconds. Give yourself a 30 second break in between.
Exercise 3: Elevated Plank.
I like to do this left, right and center. When I do the center, I just put my hands on the ground (not elbow/forearm as shown below). Again 30 seconds x 2 reps x left, right, center. 30 second rest at an absolute max between each one. You should be pushing yourself to the end here.
If your shoulders / arms are more tired than your abs, work on leveling out your body and engaging your core. Your abs should be holding up your body weight - not everything on your arms. For those keeping score - this routine should take 6 minutes of actual exercises + however much rest time you gave yourself. Minimize it.
Now get out there and strengthen those abs! Then you just have to melt the fat around them to let them show. Check out other Trim Your Waist Wednesdays for how to do that.