Have you heard you have to hold a long-lever plank for 5 minutes in order to be “cool” or to achieve results? Are you reluctant to attempt this classic ab exercise because that goal seems out of reach? Good news! As few as 20 seconds doing planks with good form will strengthen your core and work your abs. As well, you don’t need to crunch, flex your neck, or lift up your head. Check out the benefit of dropping down after 20 seconds and restarting in this post we wrote on short duration planking: Interval Planks Will Activate Your Abs
Planks are accessible to nearly everyone, as many versions exist. If you are a beginner planker, start on your knees. If you want a bit more challenge, but are not yet ready for a parallel plank on your toes, place your feet wide apart. If you want a ton more ideas to improve your abs, then take advantage of the program we created specifically for baby boomers: The Ultimate Abs Workout Collection for Women Over 50.
Good question. Even better answer is to keep reading as we offer bullets below and a video demo. AAAAaaand, pop over to our post that has another video going over dos and don’ts.
If you’re considering adding planks to your fitness regimen, watch our video. You’ll see four different modifications, and instructions for good form.
As few as 20 seconds doing planks w/ good form will strengthen your core & work your abs Click To Tweet
One caveat: We mention holding for 30 seconds in the video, but research also indicates you can hold for as little as 20, take a short break, then get back into plank position. Whether you choose 20 or 30 second intervals, stick with the plank position that gives you the best form.
Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
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!Holding a plank for a long time might be LESS effective than another approach. Click To Tweet
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No doubt you are inspired by more than wanting to look good or have a 6-pack, or lose weight. Even with those goals, what happy thing happens once you achieve them? We were posed with this question and had to think a moment.
Actually, we had the question posed a different, more fun way: “What is on your Fitness Bucket List?” That sounds more enticing, right? So tell us – what’s in your bucket? Does your list include performing certain exercise feats? For example, do you want to:
Or would you put activities on your bucket list that you would enjoy once you are more fit? For instance, sky dive (let’s just state here and now for the record that neither of us has that particular goal. Hurl! But you might!). Or you’d tackle that hiking trail over the mountains and through the woods? Maybe you have a plan to travel the world and haul your own luggage or backpack as soon as you get stronger. (We like the plan that offers bellpersonage service, frankly).
Now if you are wondering about OUR Fitness Bucket List, why thanks! Don’t mind if we do share! We worked up Pinterest boards entitled “Fitness Bucket List.” I know, we got all creative and wacky on you there! To be accurate, the CEO of FitFluential,* Kelly Olexa challenged us to create such a board. And we take doubledown dares as we are double time twins!
Alexandra: It took me a while to start my list, because I feel like I’m mostly doing what it is I like to do already, but I do love walking and travel, so I really want to go to various places in the world and walk. I love walking in the mountains, the city, country trails, along the beach, almost anywhere. Not hiking and camping – bleech. I hate camping. I love walking. And I’d really love to learn the Dougie from our First Lady Michelle Obama. And anything that involves disco would be on my list too. Maybe a lesson on dancing the entire scene from “Saturday Night Fever” that John Travolta did to “You Should Be Dancing.” If I could memorize that routine and do it that well I’d be pretty happy.
Kymberly: If you have followed our blog for any time you will not be shocked to hear that my numero uno dream is for us to be the first twins on Dancing With the Stars. And not the first twins to be eliminated either! I also recognized how much I enjoy water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling – as long as the water is warm and calm. This is one area Alexandra and I totally differ as A-twin re-enacts the melting scene from Wizard of Oz when she gets near water. Another huge item on my list is for medical technology to make strides and find a way to give me back the knee joints I had in my twenties. Aaaaaah, to run and jump again with ease and freedom!
Once you make your list or create a Pinterest Fitness Bucket board, you will notice something veeeeerrrry interesting – themes and trends reveal themselves. At least for us, they did. Give it a whirl. Then tell us all about it in the comments below. We’re waiting! Impatiently.
* Oy vay – an asterisk to track. Such calorie burning work we’re asking of you. FitFluential is a continentwide network of fitness enthusiasts sharing their journey both online and off via multiple social media platforms. Take a peek-see and maybe even join. You’ll get access to a great community, good info, discounts, jetsam, flotsam, and lots of motivation.
You’re just one click away from subscribing to our YouTube channel and our blog. Grab a GPS and follow us on twitter (@KymberlyFunFit / @AlexandraFunFit) and instagram (@KymberlyFunFit / @AlexandraFunFit).
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Do you want a quick and easy way to get in some exercise this holiday weekend?
Are you pressed for time?
Good news: We have a full-body, quick workout for you that requires no equipment. Heck, you can even do it at a roadside rest stop, although you might want a towel for the push-ups!
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, we hope you have a lovely, healthy, fun weekend! Now Drop and Give us 30!
Which do you prefer, planks or push-ups? Boxers or briefs?
No Tankin’ on your Plankin’!
If you find your hips Twistin’ the Night Away, then back up one progression until you can hold fairly steady and level. Remember that you get results where you put tension. So if you can relax your face and push long through your elbows and down with your shoulders, you’ll put the focus into your core and out of the face and neck. Oh, and BREATHE! It’s free and oh so helpful when holding a plank.
Working toward having Fab Abs altogether? Do we have a deal for you! Take a look at Get Fab Abs: Part 1 But wait, that’s not all! For the same low, low price, you also Get Fab 6-Pack Abs: Part 2 What’s that you say? You want even MORE info and ideas to Get No-Flab, Fab Abs: Part 3. Try them all! Why not, as they are great ab exercises that will give you a strong core.
Readers: Did you know you can always email us with your exercise questions at email@example.com?
Photo credit: Creative Commons, Jami Dwyer at Jami Dwyer’s Flickr PhotoStream
Stick with these options so you can say your Plank Don’t Stank!
What is your opinion of planks, and what is your favorite version? Remember that the BEST version is the one you can do with excellent form.