I've been reading a bit on here about planks and I actually used to do side planks (I called them side bridges) a few years ago but was always a bit unsure about how valuable they were.
As I've been doing some searches on it, it seems like a lot of people recommend the regular plank (on both forearms) for core strengthening and abs.
My question is, how do these exercises affect the physical appearance of the body? If someone that's been doing crunches already adds planks to the end of their workout, will this help them develop bigger abs, tighten up their stomach, what? Or is the purpose just for core strength to help stabilize for larger compound exercises? What about side planks/bridges? Do people who perform planks generally do just the regular planks, just the side planks/bridges, or both?
Thanks for the help guys.
Thread: Value of Planks and Side Planks
03-30-2010, 07:47 AM #1
Value of Planks and Side Planks
04-03-2010, 12:33 AM #2
04-03-2010, 12:35 AM #3
04-03-2010, 12:48 AM #4
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well think of it like this
conventional crunch vs a perfect crunch
conventional crunch: one will lift upper back off the floor, contract the abdominals, drop upper back back down and then the abs will relax
perfect crunch: roll hips upward to contract lower abdominals, contract abs, lift upper back off the floor to attain a full contraction, bring upper back down but still keeping hips pushed upward and actively keeping the abdominals tight mid rep.
the perfect crunch is going to be a lot harder obviously because you engage all the abdominal muscles through out the set.
when one does a plank, you have to keep your abs contracted or you will begin to strain your back in order to stay in a plank position. It causes all off your core to stay in a contracted state causing muscle fatigue or the burning which will lead to a stronger core and help to build up the muscles as well.
04-03-2010, 12:59 AM #5
A bit of wrong information being stated here, but that is common for core exercises.
A plank and side plank work the inner core. These are not muscle building exercises. They work on the endurance of your inner core which is very important as keeping the intra abdominal pressure optimal is crucial, and you do not want these muscles to get fatigued easily.
When doing a plank, if you are focussing on keeping the rectus abdominus contracted, then you are doing it wrong. Transverse abdominus is what needs to be activated, this is a deep muscle and, amongst a few other muscles, is responsible for optimising intra abdominal pressure. Your superficial abdominal muscles have very mininal contribution to core.
Yes they are very good exercises. Look to increase the endurance of these muscles. Once your endurance for them is good, you can look to add small amounts of resistance.
04-03-2010, 02:19 AM #6
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