Stop Doing Sit-Ups and Start Doing This Exercise Instead, According to Research
Written by: Kat Gal
“10 minutes abs,” yelled my college track coach at the end of every practice.
I hated sit-ups. It’s not that I was lazy – I was a college athlete, after all. But who wants to do 10 minutes of sit-ups?! Seriously! They are SO boring. Yet some days I did up to 1,000 situps (or more).
But not any longer: I have a BETTER exercise for killer abs.
If you are like me, you don’t want to waste your time with boring sit-ups… but you still want a flat belly. Flat and toned abdomens are not only hot, but a strong core is so important for your health and posture as well.
If you want strong, sexy and flat abs, but don’t want to waste your time doing endless sit-ups, there is some good news for you. Fitness experts found your solution: an exercise that can replace as many as 1,000 sit-ups.
This exercise is called the ‘plank.’ It is a static exercise. You are only using your body weight by keep your body straight while balancing on your hands and toes without movements. This incredibly effective exercise only takes 60 seconds.
Here is how to do it:
When you do planks, the most important thing is to have a good form. Follow these instructions to find the correct starting position:
- Press your palms firmly to the ground. Stretch your shoulders and keep your neck elongated.
- Your hands should be comfortable.
- Squeeze your glutes so your lower body muscles get activated. Keep them low so your body is in a straight line not a triangle or a sinking ship.
- You should feel some burn in your legs too. If not, set your heels further apart. Don’t rely on your toes so much.
When you have the perfect position, you are ready to start:
- Press your hands on the ground. Press your knees on the ground as well.
- Make sure that your wrists are in line with your shoulders. Keep your back straight.
- Look up, but not too much, only about 30 inches ahead of you. The back of your head should be parallel to the ceiling. Your nose should be facing the ground.
- Stretch your left leg to back then extend your right leg as well. You should be keep your entire body up on your hands and toes.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Hold for about 20-60 seconds. If you can only do 20 seconds now, it’s okay. Keep gradually increasing the time until you can make it to 60 seconds.
- Take a small break for about 20 – 30 seconds in child’s pose or stretching out on the ground.
- Do this exercise 3 times in a row. Soon you will be able to repeat this 3 times for 60 seconds each rep. Do this 3 – 4 times a week for the best results.
Is doing plank enough?
Exercise doesn’t out-do a bad diet. Make sure to eat clean whole foods diet full of fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans. Exercise at least 20 – 30 minutes a day using a combination of cardio and strength work. Find an exercise you love! Eat a healthy diet, exercise and add planks to your routine and you can have killer abs to show off at the beach once vacation time hits.
The plank is by far my favorite exercise. What’s yours? Share below.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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