A Single Plank Equals A Thousand Crunches: Learn 4 Variations That'll Give You Sexy Abs

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Crunches used to be the most popular way to achieve a six-pack. Now, the reign of the plank has arrived. Seen as more efficient than a thousand crunches, the exercise can be a little uncomfortable, but it promises to bring quick results.

Planks to strengthen the core: variations

Besides the abs, the exercise also works the arms, legs, butt, strengthens core muscles and can help improve posture.

The most popular version is done on a yoga mat but the plank has variations to switch up your workout routine and strengthen several muscle groups. Here are some.

Pilates ball plank

With your forearms on the ball and slightly flexed, find your balance and form a 90-degree angle between your arms and the ball. Tighten your glutes and abdomen to return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise 20 times, rest for 30 seconds and repeat 30 more times.

Plank on ball and bench

Start with your forearms forming a 90-degree angle with the ball and, when you find your balance, place your feet on the bench, one at a time. Hold the position for around 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

Continue the set increasing 15 seconds with each repetition, trying to reach one minute.

This exercise is advanced and there is the risk of falling if it is done by a beginner, so always ask for the help of a professional.

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Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock

Legs-elevated plank

Start on plank position with your hands placed on the mat or on a bosu ball. When you find your balance, elevate one of your legs to the height of your hips. Hold the position for a few seconds and return to starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Side plank

Lay on your side with your legs together. Place your forearm on the floor and align your elbow with your shoulders. Place the other hand on your waist and elevate your hips.

Tighten your abs and hold the position for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Continue, increasing 15 seconds to every repetition, trying to hit one minute. Do not forget to repeat on the other side.

Translated article original published on VIX Brazil, by Clara Aguiar.