So you think you can do a plank? You think you have what it takes to do a 5 minute abdominal plank?
Does the plank work for abs?
You bet! Not just the the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominus and transversus abdominus) but your back and shoulders too. There are other variations of the plank as well beyond what you see in the video below.
On a dare from John Sifferman of PhyscialLiving.com, I tried a plank a few months ago. Being the traditional bodybuilder it wasn’t that hard to do a regular plank on the elbows or the hands. What ended up being hard was maintaining that position for any length of time. In my mind, I truly figured that 5 minutes would be boring but not all that difficult given my already strong core from doing deadlifts, squats, and the likes.
Boy was I wrong! My first attempts were only around 3 minutes. At one point, I got up to 3:30 with practice. Some of my most trusted fitness friends who thought they could pull this off were shocked when they tried and failed around 3:10 to 4:30. In one case, the shoulders gave out before the core.
Before I go on any further, I want to prove (mostly to myself) that indeed I can do a 5 minute plank.
My 5 minutes is nothing compared to the abdominal plank world record of 1 hour 20 minutes and 5.01 seconds, set in Naperville, IL on 3 December 2011 by 54 year old George Hood!
The plank can be done almost anywhere at anytime for any length of time you wish. It’s a good overall strengthening exercise while adding in the component of muscular endurance.
Who’s abs are stronger? Here’s a quick test.
If you and a friend ever want to see who’s got the best abs, forgot leg lifts and sit-ups, crunches and ab wheel rollers, think in terms of a simple plank. It’s a great equalizer, it’s safe to do and you can test who’s got the stronger abs by seeing who can hold the position the longest. At first it’s brute strength which turns into endurance after about 3 minutes. The stronger abs will will ever time.
Now it’s your turn! If you can do a 5 minute plank, let me know and I’ll start a Hall of Fame and include your video as well. Put it to music, do a podcast, be silent.. it’s not for the fact I think people will sit on this blog and watch the videos but proof this community can do the job and do it well.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
P.S. – So you think you have strong transversus abdominus muscles? Try the side plank. And if you are lucky enough, try a TRX side plank with single leg and knee tuck.
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