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By Nikki

Putting your back into your six pack

By Nikki

Ever found yourself staring at your midriff and wondering why the sit ups aren’t getting you a flat tummy?

Are you sick of just doing sit ups?

The fact is that repetitive crunches may work your abdominal muscles but they won’t get you the toned mid-section, rewarded only to those who work their entire core.  The core is made up of a system of muscles which corset the spine to hold it in place.  This includes not just your upper abs and oblique or side muscles but also a deeper set of muscles which help strengthen your back, glutes and legs.

What’s important to know is that if you want to achieve that rectus abdominus or six pack, you need to work the whole area connected to your spinal cord.   So what’s the real solution to toning your midsection front and back?

Try the plank!  

The plank works not just your abs but all your core muscles including your arms and legs.  You’ll see results much faster as this system of muscles begin to work in tandem to keep your body steady.  Your core will be engaged and each muscle contracted, providing resistance for another muscle. There are different variations on the basic plank: side planks, one arm planks, full planks and half planks.

Strengthening your core in this way is great for your posture, too as your spine becomes better equipped to support your body.  So if people notice not just that you’re looking trimmer but that you’re striding taller, you’ll secretly know you’re walking 'the plank!’