Plank – the way to a flat tummy

Plank can be definitely named my favourite exercise of the month. And to be honest this is the only exercise which really works to flatten my tummy. I have tried soooo many variations of crunches, increasing number of sets and repetitions and they never NEVER worked for me! (I even was instructed by gym trainers on how to do crunches properly and still they did nothing for my tummy). Then in one of the work-out videos on fitsugar I came across a “plank” exercise and completely fell for it. Let me tell you, I have been doing this exercise for a month and it literary sucks my tummy right to the spine. plank-5

To do basic plank start from standing on your hands and kneea. Then straighten your legs spreading the weight between your toes and hands. Hold your gluts and abdominal muscles tight. In the beginning stay in this position for at least 10 counts breathing normally and increase your time gradually with every work-out. To challenge basic plank, bend your elbows slightly. You can also do basic plank standing on the elbows rather than hands.

Plank is truly universal exercise. It works out your whole core including abdominal muscles, front thighs, biceps and shoulder muscles.

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To get read of the nasty “muffin” top you can do side plank. Lie on your right side, lay your right hand in front of your chest, then lift your body with your right arm, again keeping tummy and gluts tight. Do the same on the other side.

To do the complete round, start with the 10 seconds of basic plank, then 10 seconds on each side of the side plank and if you are one tough cookie you can do the second round! If not then don’t worry – everything comes with practice.

At first, plank could look like a really simple exercise, but don’t underestimate it. After my first plank experience my abdominal muscles were killing me the whole next day…so don’t be discouraged – it’s really worse all the pain and effort!

 

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