Here goes: the best ab move for a flat stomach. No, it’s not crunches.
It’s the plank pose.
A plank can be done in a variety of forms where the individual rests on arms or hands in some form and the body is suspended in the air with feet resting on the toes. Planks are the best ab move because they engage your entire core. The top of your abs, the bottom, your sides. Not to mention your arms and shoulders being engaged the entire time as well. This is better than a basic crunch because that move only engages one or two muscle groups where a plank pose requires your entire body cooperating to accomplish it.
Here are a couple ways this can look:
1. The Basic Plank
The basic move is great to do for extended periods of time. Go for a minute or two and start to feel your muscles shaking. I promise they will feel it. Want to make it harder? Try raising one foot a time and holding the pose to engage your rear and legs.
2. The Extended Plank
This move is just slightly different than the first one, where this requires your arms to be fully extended in front of you.
A great variation of this pose is side twists- keep your arms fully extended but bring your legs in one at at time across your body to the opposite arm pit and repeat for 15 reps on each side. This completely engages your core from the extended plank but adds more arm tone, leg tone, and the best part- your sides carrying love handles.
3. The Side Plank
As Jillian Michaels says “This one is mean, but it gets results.” Fully extending one arm you lift your entire body weight off of the ground and hold the pose. Legs are fully extended with feet stacked or one right in front of the other.
Two rockin’ variations of this pose:
1. Rotating side planks: To add cardio fat burning to your ab move- rotate your side planks by starting on the right arm fully extended, rotating to the left arm fully extended so you are alternating the sides your are facing and engaging your body.
2. Side plank with inner thigh raise: Here you hold the side plank pose and bring the bottom leg up toward the air, twist, and set it back down without bringing the knee to the ground. So your bottom leg of the plank pose is twisting the muscles on your side and working your inner thigh muscles.
Give planks a try. It’s almost swimsuit season, and your body will thank you.