The best plank exercises to target belly fat, according to a trainer
Have you been doing endless crunches and crunches in hopes of slimming your waistline and not seeing results? We understand the frustration. Unfortunately, abs exercises are not the best moves get rid of belly fat. Instead, your main focus should be on core stability exercises, such as plank and board variations. In honor of that, we’ve put together five of the best plank exercises to help you lose five inches of belly fat. Planks are ultra-effective in building your core, which will improve your performance in other strength exercises and allow you to build muscle and burns more fat.
Compared to thigh or hip fat, midsection fat can lead to major health risks. And it doesn’t matter what your body shape is; carrying extra fat is just not healthy. According to Harvard Health Publishing, location really is everything when it comes to excess fat. Too many belly fat—aka visceral fat—can cause asthma, dementia, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and breast cancer.
To get your belly back in shape, we’re here with some productive suggestions. While planks alone may not help you lose five inches of belly fat, combined with a healthy diet and a solid strength training regimen, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your desired fat loss goal. Add the exercises below to your workout now, and your waistline will be so happy you did! Perform them one at a time or back to back in giant fashion.
The first of these exercises to lose five inches of belly fat is the Plank Touch Reach. To set up, assume a classic push-up with your feet wide apart. Reach one hand to the opposite toe. When you touch your foot, slide back into the plank as you fully extend your working arm. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps on one side before switching to the other.
Next, it’s time for Plank Jacks. Get into a push-up position with both legs together. With your hands firmly planted on the floor, jump both legs out to a wide stance, then bring them back in. Make sure your core is tight and your back is straight throughout the exercise. Continue moving until all repetitions are completed. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.
The plank to push-up starts in a forearm plank position with a tight back and core and tight glutes. Lift with one arm, then finish with the other to go into a push-up. Return to plank position, then start the movement with the other arm, alternating between plank and push-ups. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions for each arm.
Plank Shoulder Taps allow you to get into a push-up position with your shoulders in line with your wrists and your hips high. Keep your core tight as you grab one hand and reach for the opposite shoulder. Touch your shoulder, then return your arm to the starting position and extend your other arm. As you perform this movement, keep your glutes tight and your back as straight as possible. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 10 repetitions for each arm.
The Long Lever Plank is the same as a regular plank, but your elbows are more out. This makes the position much more difficult to hold. When performing this exercise, you want to make sure your core is tight and your glutes are squeezed. Keep your abs tight throughout. Aim for 3 to 4 sets of plank holds for 20 to 30 seconds.
Tim Liu, CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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