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Steve Kaspar
04-21-2009, 06:26 PM
i know there are countless core exercises, and i do lots of them, but when doing planks ( only forearms and toes touching the ground) would it be better to try for more sets, or stick with a few sets, but holding the plank for a longer period of time?
opinions?
just trying to strenghten the core a bit more.
thanks as always
steve kaspar

Steven Low
04-21-2009, 06:44 PM
If you can do more than 60s of a plank, you probably need to move onto a harder exercise.

That's my take on it at least.

Alan O'Donnell
04-22-2009, 07:31 AM
One-arm-one-leg planks are kind of fun. I'm not quite there yet, but I imagine that one-arm pushups would be a pretty tough plank-ish variation as well.

Another one: start in a plank on your forearms and press up one arm at a time into a pushup position, and then reverse back down into a plank. I think it's a surprisingly hard movement if you really try to keep the plane of your body parallel to the floor.

Peter Dell'Orto
04-22-2009, 07:31 AM
I agree with Steven - after a while, you need to move on to harder stuff. My usually measure is 2 minutes. If I can do some static exercise for 2 minutes, beyond that it's my boredom-endurance I'm training, not strength-endurance.

You can make planks harder.

- Wear a weight vest, or have a partner stick a plate or chains on your back.
- Do three-point planks (one foot off the ground OR one arm off the ground).
- Do two-point planks (one foot off the ground AND one arm off the ground).
- Do versions like plank-to-pushup or plate switches.

You can also mix them into or after other taxing exercises. I find planks alone not that hard, but they aren't fun when they're part of a circuit of various ab exercises.

Derek Simonds
04-22-2009, 10:58 AM
I concur with Peter and Steven. If you can hit a 60 second plank make it more difficult. My all time favorite version is on your forearms with your feet on a med ball or basketball. The guys that train with me call them hell planks.

Matthieu Hertilus
04-22-2009, 11:03 AM
Another way to make planks harder which I like to use is to move other parts of your body while keeping the plank position. For example: tap your toes out to the side (as if your legs were the hands of a clock) whithout breaking the plank. Try doing that for 60s at a controlled pace

Derek Weaver
04-26-2009, 01:41 PM
I may have missed it, but Coach Rut's article on Planks in the Pmenu from a month or two ago had more than a couple good options and ways to spice them up