Do you have a weak mid-section? Try holding a plank for 40 seconds. If you fail or if form is altered in any way, you probably need some work.
Try adding these proven movements into your routine:
Ab Rollouts are one of the most beneficial core strengthening exercises. They target the entire front of the body as well as engaging glutes and back.
Kneel on a mat or the floor and place hands on ball (or ab wheel).
- Roll it forward while allowing your hips and shoulders to drop down towards the ground(hips and shoulder should stay in line with each other.
- When you have extended all the way, or as far as you can, roll back.
Pro Tip: This exercise is best done with a stability ball for beginners. The bigger the ball, the easier the movement. Overtime, you can graduate to a ab wheel or a barbell with plates on each side.
For each progression, be sure to hit 3 sets of 10 with no low back pain before progressing to the next level.
Planks are a great isometric movement to strengthen the core. Most find it boring and quit long before they can really get benefit. Try this variation using a Swiss ball.
- Get into a low plank position with your forearms on a Swiss ball.
- Keep your hands together and pretend you have a big wooden spoon.
- Make a big circular motion and ‘stir the pot’.
- Be sure to keep your core tight and your glutes engaged
- Try to minimize movement in the lower back(keep it flat)
- Do 10-20 on one side then repeat on the other.
This movement works your complete midsection and can be done in several positons.
- Tall Kneel
- Half Kneel
And using different equipment:
- Monster Bands
- Attach a single handle to a cable pulley system.
- Adjust the cable so that it is just below your chest (if standing)
- Grab the handle and align in the middle of your chest
- Press the handle straight out.
- Be sure to keep your hips and shoulders square and not rotate your body as you press
- Start with a light weight and move your way up.
- If standing is too hard try a full kneel then ½ kneel and finally standing.