Is your plank routine bulking up your core and damaging your lower back and shoulders? Plank exercises have soared in popularity since the early 2000s when fatloss experts and metaboloic training gurus started bashing crunches as the worst ab exercise ever.
Now unless you've been hiding in your house with no internet or access to fitness magazines then you know that research has found that prone (face down) core work targets the core muscles more effectively AND burns a lot more fat than any supine (laying on your back) ab exercise or seated ab gadget possibly can. The problem is not all planks are created equal and some may be preventing your slim waist flat abs results.
There are 3 types of plank exercises and endless variations of those plank moves including:
Static planks require that you hold the same position for a set amount of time. These are the best to focus on if you're a complete beginner who needs to build core stability in a safe way. The key with these is to spend limited amounts of time holding them. So don't bother with all those 30 day plank challenge apps everywhere. Holding planks for more than 60 sec. is completely pointless. Once you get to the 60 sec. mark it's time to progress to more advanced planks.
Isolation planks are similar to static planks but include isolation movement that targets one specific area of the core for example those ridiculous side plank dips that everybody seems to be doing these days in the hopes of "slimming the waist". Another example is the stability ball plank roll out which targets the 6 pack muscles directly or the forearm lizard plank which primarily targets the oblique muscles. These types of planks are great if you want a thick muscular core like the kind male fitness models or big hulking bodybuilder chics have.
Dynamic multi-directional planks are planks that work the entire core including the transversus abdomins, rectus abdominis, internal/external obliques as well as many many other muscle groups. These are the best kind to do for fat burning, waist slimming and advanced core strength and stability. When you're doing them they look like some crazy hybrid bodyweight yoga pilates street dance routine and best of all they are fun not mind-numbingly boring like most static planks or isolation planks.
I've been doing all types of planks since my son was born 14 years ago and have come across all types of articles, research, videos, and so called expert advice but one thing I know from years of doing planks is that when you focus only on static or isolation planks (what I did for many years) you struggle to burn the fat and get a slim waist plus you increase your chance of injury.
As the saying goes the body doesn't lie and the wrong type of plank movement will get you the wrong type of results (bulked up weak core) regardless of what the research or the self proclaimed experts blab on about on year after year.
The right types of planks on the other hand, like all the ones featured in YBFF fitness routines, get you the visible results you're after quickly safely and in ways that makes you functionally fitter which is what eventually makes your body look sexier. The right types of planks helped me shed 10 lb of fat off my core plus 5" off my waist.
The most interesting thing I learned about planks in the last few years is that just like laying down ab work, you need to always focus on the planks that build function not just on isolation planks the get you a "ripped core". Remember that without health you can not get the results you're after.
I recently answered visitor questions on side planks that bulk the waist and also posted pics on fb of more side planks to avoid if your goal is to burn the belly fat and shrink your waist.
I've also written additional articles that show many other waist exercises that bulk the waist plus options to de-bulk your core if you've been doing too much of this type of training.
I also blogged about the best planks for a flat abs and a slim waist but the absolute best strategy for losing the ab fat and slimming your waist is to have a balanced fitness routine that is right for your unique body type and goal. Nothing will get you flat abs slim waist results faster than a structured fitness routine that is right for your body.