Tired of not seeing results in your belly doing sit-ups and crunches day after day? Unfortunately, to feel the burn in your stomach and build up some core strength, you need more than the basic ab exercises.
Popular ab workouts are excellent at working the front abdominal muscles. But they aren’t the best at reaching the deep abs and core muscles you need to activate to lose the harmful visceral fat.
Instead, you need exercises that stimulate the entire core and engage the layers of muscles in the trunk and throughout the body.
Exercises like planks and dynamic planks are excellent for that and help strengthen your core while slimming your waist.
Planks are highly effective in hitting the deep abdominal muscles and the entire core. This is because they are designed to recruit all the muscles in the trunk to bring stability while holding the plank.
This deep muscle engagement also leads to more fat burning and increases effectiveness for shrinking belly fat.
Losing Belly Fat
The deep belly fat known as visceral fat is particularly dangerous to your overall health. Excess visceral fat can lead to health issues like stroke, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes (1).
To truly lose belly fat and get your health back in order, you need a healthy diet and a fat-burning strengthening workout. Planks are excellent exercises to add to the regimen and enforce fat burning.
While the classic isometric plank is a great place to start, there are many plank variations that maximize core activation and fat loss.
5 Plank Variations to Slim Your Waist
Here are the 5 plank variations to add to your belly fat workout regimen to slim down your weight and build core strength.
The Plank Hold
- down on all fours with your elbows on the floor. Position your elbows right below your shoulders, and knees directly below the hips. Facedown and keep your head relaxed throughout the exercise.
- Tuck in your abs and draw your navel toward your spine. Lift your knees off the floor to come up. Adjust your body so it forms a straight line from head to heels.
- Don’t curve your back and drop the hips. This is the neutral spine position.
- Hold this plank position for 30-60 seconds.
- Start in a high plank position with shoulder-width apart and toes about hip-width apart.
- Quickly jump your right knee toward your chest.
- Then, as you jump the right leg back to the starting position, simultaneously jump the left knee toward your chest.
- Repeat this alternating pattern for the duration of the exercise.
- Complete 45-60 seconds, 2-3 sets
- Start in a plank position with your palms shoulder-width apart on the mat and feet shoulder-width apart.
- From this starting position, walk your legs apart until they are a bit wider than your hips. Make sure your hips are lifted, and your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.
- Keeping your torso stable and in alignment, lift your right arm up and slightly out on the diagonal. At the same time, lift your left leg. Hold this position for two seconds, then return to your plank. This completes one repetition.
- Repeat with the left arm and right leg. Do two 12-15 reps on each side.
Down Dog Knee Up Plank
- Begin in a downward-facing dog. Your palms on your mat, with your elbows and knees straight. Then raise your right leg to move into a down-dog split. Pause, then bend your right knee and pull it toward your forehead.
- Straighten your leg and return to the starting position. That is one repetition. Repeat the movement for 10-seconds.
- Now, switch legs and repeat. Raise your left leg into the down-dog split, and bend your left knee, pulling it towards your forehead. Repeat the movement for 10-seconds.
Side Plank Toe Touch
- Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Bend your right elbow and prop yourself up with your forearm, so your body forms a diagonal line.
- Tighten your abs and extend your right leg in front of your hip. Keep your knee as straight as possible and touch your toes with the left hand.
- Do as many as you can without breaking your form within 10 seconds. Switch sides and repeat