The plank may be the perfect exercise because of the sheer number of muscles that it engages all at once. That's why you'll see them happening almost every time you walk into your gym. You'll get much more out of a plank than just an abs workout, but since we are discussing abs, the plank primarily works your rectus abdominis (your superficial abs — those that you show off) and your transverse abdominis (deep internal abs — or the "internal girdle," as Chadwell likes to call it).
When you work the rectus abdominis, you are developing the coveted six-pack. When you work the transverse abdominis, you are strengthening your abs at the deepest level. This is important for keeping your midsection muscles sucked in tight toward your spine. If you've had children, the plank should be in your ab arsenal for this very reason.
How to Do Plank:
- Get into push-up position.
- Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and hold your weight on your forearms. Your elbows will be directly underneath your shoulders. Your body will form a straight line from your head to your feet.
- Look down at a spot on the floor to ensure a neutral spine. Make sure your stomach is not sagging toward the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes.
- Hold the position for one minute.