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Interval Planks Will Activate Your Abs

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Planks to strengthen your core? For sure! We love planks and hope you do too. Aaaand, we just got ahold of some interesting news about a great way to progress your ab strength via planks (Hint: It’s not about going longer).

Plink, plank, plunk, who’d a thunk that holding a plank for a long time might be LESS effective than another approach?! Specifically, you may require your abs to turn on more and more often from  interval planks as opposed to holding a plank longer and longer. Well, yippee yi yay as we’d much rather stay in the plank position 20 seconds or so, then drop down for a very short break, then come back into the exercise. Gotta love the options that are not only more accessible, but also more beneficial!


For more plank ideas (and actual exercises!) check out some of our previous posts:

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About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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18 Responses to Interval Planks Will Activate Your Abs

  1. MegG December 3, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I know my #plankaday routine is not about going longer it’s about attempting to stay consistent! I do three types of side planks for 30 seconds on each side. One normal side plank, one with one leg raised and one with one leg pulsing. It’s my physical therapy routine that has made my hips and glutes stronger!
    MegG recently posted..California International Marathon: A RecapMy Profile

  2. lgsmash December 3, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    That makes perfect sense – keeping your core with shorter intervals would certainly be more effective than holding a long plank. Firing different parts of your abs and keeping your body ‘on its toes’, if you will. Thanks for sharing!
    lgsmash recently posted..Fitness: My Sauconys Are Magic (or That Time I Ran More Than 10 Minutes Faster)My Profile

  3. Tamara December 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    THANK YOU so much for posting this!

    The whole #plankaday movement towards longer and longer planks drives me CRAZY! I mean who needs to plank for 5 minutes??? The one time expressed my opinion I received a lot of flak. Glad to see science is behind what I knew all along!

    (Can you tell that I’m passionate about this topic? Capitols AND exclamation marks!)
    Tamara recently posted..5 Tips for Making Cardio Machines More FunMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit December 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      Yeah, when we had to hold for 5 minutes at a CRXWrX training, we asked how it was functional. We were basically told to follow instructions. When in real life will we need to hold that way for 5 minutes?
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..How to Avoid Overeating on ThanksgivingMy Profile

  4. Alison @ racingtales December 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Well that is the BEST news I’ve heard all day! I also prefer plank with leg raises or hip rotation or doing something, anything, rather than staying static for so long!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..#Running and #Triathlon Books for the HolidaysMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit December 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Oh, I LOVE the leg raises. I basically love any plank that makes my students squirm while I taunt them! And they keep coming back for more.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Holiday Fitness Gift ListMy Profile

  5. Tina @ Best Body Fitness December 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I do plank intervals more than the max hold and my abs always burn more in the intervals. Love them!
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Move It Monday: BBB Round 4 Registration Now OPENMy Profile

  6. AmyC December 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    My PT just told me this too and recommended that I do planks 10 second on, 5 second off!
    AmyC recently posted..TrainingTruths: Spontaneous RunningMy Profile

  7. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf December 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Thanks for this great news! I would much rather do plank intervals than hold a super long plank but I was never sure which one was actually more effective.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Winter Bucket ListMy Profile

  8. Calla Gold December 4, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Great video! But, what do those of without the bangs do?

  9. AlexandraFunFit December 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Oh, if you don’t have bangs you must do one-legged planks to balance out the weight difference. Go ahead and start without us.
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Hip Flexor Stretches: Right and Wrong Way to do a Quad StretchMy Profile


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