Q: I see lots of people doing planks in the gym. I asked a trainer what they were for, and he said to get a ripped six-pack. Do you guys recommend planks for ripped abs?
A: For the uninitiated, planks are getting in a pushup position and supporting your weight on your forearms, not your hands. Your arms are bent at 90 degrees and the entire length of each forearm is on the ground.
That’s become a very popular “exercise” because it’s considered “functional” training. It’s closer to what the abs do in the real world as opposed to crunching. Hmm…
The truth is, planks aren’t that great for etching a deep set of abs. Remember, as we mention in our X-traordinary Abs e-book, the lines that form your six-pack are actually tendons that hold down your rectus abdominis muscle….
And developing the rectus abdominis will have those tendons sitting deeper so you have more delineation—a more pronounced six-pack. The best way to develop that muscle is with DYNAMIC ab exercises like full-range crunches and kneeups…
Think about it. You wouldn’t try to develop your biceps by holding a curl at one point on the stroke. Sure, that can help build your biceps to some degree, but the majority of your exercises should be full-range movements for optimal fiber activation.
The big “but” is that planks are excellent for training the TRANSVERSE abdominis. That’s a flat muscle that wraps your midsection like a girdle. The better developed your TA, the smaller and tighter your midsection. It helps hold in your gut.
That’s an especially good thing for older trainees who often have stretched or atrophied TAs. So as you get older, you should plank often.
Steve has added planks to the end of his full-range ab routine, and it’s making a difference (he tricks himself into thinking it’s his TA that’s underdeveloped, not visceral fat. LOL!)
If you add planks to your ab routine, do them at the end and hold for 30 seconds to a minute, taking short breaths as you suck in your stomach.
It’s one more way to get midsection perfection—but you also need to rev up your lean machine to see etched results.
NOTE: If you’ want to crank up your LEAN machine, grab a copy of our fat-burning and nutrition guide, X-treme Lean, which includes the High-Def Workout, success stories, X Reps and occlusion training for vein-streaked muscularity. X-treme Lean is available HERE <==
NOTE x2: Get X-treme Lean, The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, and X-traordinary Abs—ALL 3 best-selling e-books together HERE <==
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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