Carve Out That Six-Pack Without a Single Crunch

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How To Get A Washboard

Lots of guys are under the impression that it’s impossible to build a better midsection without doing crunch after crunch. While the traditional crunch may be an effective ab exercise, it’s not necessarily the best in the bunch. In fact there are exercises that work will work your abs equally well (if not better) and that can be done in a lot less time than the endless sets of crunches that you are accustomed to performing.

If you want to have abs that will turn heads without adding an extra 45 minutes to every workout session, here are two highly effective ab exercises that should be added to your routine.

The Plank

Plank

Plank

This move looks easy, in fact it looks too easy to be able to produce any real results but this is most certainly a case where looks are deceiving. In as little as two or three minutes of performing the plank you’ll work your entire core from abs to obliques and even your lower back.

If you’ve never done or are completely unfamiliar with the plank, it’s incredibly easy to learn.  All you need to do is lie face down on the ground in the same position that you would use for push ups, with your palms flat on the ground next to your chest. Push yourself up into the upright position of the push up so that only your palms and toes are touching the ground and maintain that position.

For beginners who want a slightly easier version of this intense ab exercise or for folks who can’t comfortably perform this version due to wrist issues, the plank can also be performed by resting on the forearms. All you need to do for the modification is to lie face down and place your elbows/forearms underneath your chest instead of your hands prior to pushing up into position.

Tighten your abs to keep your hips from sagging so that your body stays in a completely straight line and hold that position for a predetermined time or for as long as you can. Once you’ve worked your way up to being able to hold a perfect plank for 2-3 sets of sixty seconds in length, you’ll be well on your way to developing that rock solid core.

The Side Plank

Side plank

Side plank

The second “must do” ab exercise is strikingly similar to the first and the combination of the two will be all you need to build the abs of your dreams.

To perform the side plank get down on the floor as if you were going to lie down on your left side with your left palm flat on the ground beneath your shoulder. Raise your hips up so that your body is in a straight line with only your hand and the side of your left foot toughing the ground (your right foot should be stacked on top of your left). Just as you did with the plank, you’ll want to keep your abs tight to prevent your hips from sagging and hold for a predetermined time or until you can’t maintain a straight line with your body anymore.

This version of the plank can also be modified by resting on your forearm instead of your palm.  One to two sets of the side planks of about thirty seconds on each side of the body along with your regular planks should take no more than about seven to ten minutes (including rest) and this should be all the ab work that you need to tighten, tone and flatten your abs and build a rock solid core.

About Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.

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