Primal Essential Movement: Plank

Ab classes, ab exercises, ab equipment…you need absolutely none of this. I’ve said before that I don’t do ab workouts, but I do engage my core with everything I do at the gym and, yup, in everyday movement.

The plank is one of the Primal Essential Movements for a reason. It’s one of the simplest moves to target and engage the abs—while working other parts of the body, too. But simple doesn’t always mean easy, and that’s certainly the case with the plank. The key to success is right there in the name: you’re forming an immovable, stiff plank with your entire body. From toes to head, you must be firm, not flaccid.

That said, don’t sweat it if you can’t do the 5-minute planks you see people hold at the gym. Start where you’re at, and use smart progressions to build strength and stability until you get to your goal. Today I’m demonstrating three solid plank progressions and a side variation. Choose the level that suits you best, and commit to steady, sure progress.

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