Planks, Awesome Abs Without Doing Crunches

One of my favourite ab exercises are planks and side planks. They are fantastic core exercises because:

1. They work the whole core including the low back.

2. Planks are great for people who find traditional crunches painful in their neck and back.

3. Planks are incredibly effective for core strength and definition.

4. They have many variations from beginner to advanced.

5. Planks can be done anywhere, anytime.

Basic Front Plank

-With clasped hands place them in front of you on the floor under your shoulders.

-Go up on to your toes so you are supporting your weight with your elbows and toes.

-Now flex your abs and lower your butt.

-Remember to breathe and time yourself for 1 minute. If you can’t make a minute right away drop to your knees and take a 10 second break. Get back in to the plank for the remaining time.



-Support yourself on your hands, instead of your elbows.

-You can also use a stability ball placed securely up against a wall. Put your clasped hands and elbows on the ball.


-Support your weight on one foot

Side Planks

This exercise is an oblique toning machine!

-On you side stick one elbow in to the floor under your shoulder. Your forearm should be straight out and your whole arm should create a 90 degree angle.

-Stack your feet one on top of the other.

-Now raise your torso off the ground. Stick your outer oblique toward the ceiling. Hold for 30-45 seconds each side. If you can’t make it right away drop to your knees to recover and then get back up there.

-Your other arm (that is not supporting you) can be straight up in the air for balance (easier) or folded across your torso.



-Put the weight in your knees with your legs bent.


-Raise a leg or an arm and a leg at the same time.

The Plank Ab Workout

Do this 2.5 minute plank workout and your abs will be thanking you the next day. If you have trouble feeling a workout on your abs the next day from crunches, this will change everything.

Without rest

30 seconds front plank

30 seconds side plank

30 seconds front plank

30 seconds (the other) side plank

30 seconds front plank

Try to transition as quickly and fluidly as possible. Remember, if you can’t make the whole count just rest and get back up there.

Try Planks!