Planks are flat out a better use of your time versus crunches or sit-ups.
They’re not the cool Instagram exercise. Mostly because you are, usually, just staying still (your caption better be great lol). But they work YOUR WHOLE CORE (when done right!), and a ton of other muscle groups.
While sit-ups can be a decent exercise to target your abs, and help out with your hip flexors, and lower back… that’s it.
Sit-ups can help build strength in your abs, planks build strength in your core, AND about half of the rest of your body.
Why waste the time doing huge sets of sit-ups, when that time can go to toning and strengthening your whole body with planks.
If you want a more science-y article HARVARD agrees 🤷🏻♂️
Let’s talk about the 2 main variations of Planks
1. High Plank – Holding your body up on your hands and toes (like you’re about to do a pushup). Back flat, no dropping your belly down, and don’t pike up. This isn’t downward dog. Hands should be in line with your shoulders.
2. Low Plank – Holding your body up on your forearms and toes. Back flat, no dropping your belly down, and don’t pike up. Elbows should be in line with your shoulders.
Try out a plank, for time, and see how long you can last, with good form. And, that’s your starting point.
I like training by finding a max time, then work on doing 2-3 sets at 75-85% of that time.
For example: If my max plank time is 60s, I’ll work on doing 3 sets of 45-50s planks. Making sure to be able to consistently do that over the course of a couple weeks. Then testing out the max time again.