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Thread: Planks & Belly

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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Planks & Belly

    When I do planks, my belly hangs down during the exercise. Even when I try to pull everything in, it only helps a little. I have a visible paunch during planks but not when standing in front of the mirror. My BMI is ~21.

    Anyone have any insight about whether I can expect this to improve as I get stronger/leaner? Other suggestions or comments?

    Thanks for your help/support!

  2. #2
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    Get strong, get lean, don't sweat it and remember gravity sucks.
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  3. #3
    For a strong plank you will have to develop the Hollow Body Position. You can see tutorials on YouTube.

  4. #4
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    As you lose bodyfat, your gut will get better. And yes, like Dirlot said, gravity certainly sucks...

    Don't sweat it in the mean time! You'll get there
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NextSteps View Post
    When I do planks, my belly hangs down during the exercise. Even when I try to pull everything in, it only helps a little. I have a visible paunch during planks but not when standing in front of the mirror. My BMI is ~21.

    Anyone have any insight about whether I can expect this to improve as I get stronger/leaner? Other suggestions or comments?

    Thanks for your help/support!
    Check out the potato post to lose the belly fat. Boobs probably look good in the plank but the hanging belly....ahhh, not soo good. I know because I just lost my belly fat after stalling for the last 10 lbs. I engaged in the Potato Project and lost 8 lbs, and the belly is now gone, but the boobs have stayed (yeah!).
    ----------------------------------------
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    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

  6. #6
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    You can see tutorials on YouTube.

  7. #7
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    A proper plank position is defined by a straight back, neck, hips legs etc. Where you stomach is doesn't really matter.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderlust View Post
    A proper plank position is defined by a straight back, neck, hips legs etc. Where you stomach is doesn't really matter.
    The plank is a Core exercise and the abdominals are certainly a major part of the Core so their position does matter. Just keeping back, hips, legs etc in a straight line is not enough as it is possible to do that relying on the spinal erectors. The key is to be able to tilt the pelvis forward by contracting the abdominals and producing a canister of muscle which supports the spine, alignment and organs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandstone View Post
    The key is to be able to tilt the pelvis forward by contracting the abdominals and producing a canister of muscle which supports the spine, alignment and organs.
    I've been maintaining a straight back, neck, hips, legs position in the plank, not the hips up position of the hollow plank I viewed on one YouTube video. When I don't contract my abs more than naturally occurs with holding the plank, my belly hangs down in one lump. When I contract my abs to try to pull things up, I get a crease near my belly button with more "belly" hanging down on one side than the other, and a little reduction in how much seems to be hanging..but the effect is still nothing like flat abs. Seems like the 'gravity su*ks' reminder applies to me & planks regardless.

    I have one of those impedance scales that says my visceral fat is 5%, for what that is worth. I did read Mark's posts on not trusting these sorts of numbers, and it probably applies even more so to a home scale costing ~ $120.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by NextSteps View Post
    I've been maintaining a straight back, neck, hips, legs position in the plank, not the hips up position of the hollow plank I viewed on one YouTube video. When I don't contract my abs more than naturally occurs with holding the plank, my belly hangs down in one lump. When I contract my abs to try to pull things up, I get a crease near my belly button with more "belly" hanging down on one side than the other, and a little reduction in how much seems to be hanging..but the effect is still nothing like flat abs. Seems like the 'gravity su*ks' reminder applies to me & planks regardless.

    I have one of those impedance scales that says my visceral fat is 5%, for what that is worth. I did read Mark's posts on not trusting these sorts of numbers, and it probably applies even more so to a home scale costing ~ $120.
    It sounds like you are on the right path, by all means maintain the hips at a level so your crown to heels align. Just keep working on tilting the pelvis, don't try to suck the belly in, rather try to shorten the line between your groin and the breastbone. This should result in a tight, flat stomach (after some practice ).

    It will also help to keep a tight shoulder pack and to drive you heels away hard.

    Good luck

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