UberExercise — Steamroll & Pressure-Test Your Core With The Plank Power Progression
Five planks, 2 minutes & 57 seconds, zero rest — one pressure-tested, steamrolled core.
Grind up and wring out your core with The Plank Power Progression, an excruciating 5-plank slobberknocker designed to escalate in difficulty as the pain starts to kick in; nuking the sheath of muscle fibers lining your inner core into a state of unbridled hypercompression. We’re talking abs that are bust-a-new-hole-through-your-belt tight.
Borrowing elements of yoga flow and traditional supersetting, it’s the maniacal product of 5 different plank variations performed sequentially without rest.
Brace yourself for the agony to pour on. You WILL be sore and it WILL feel like someone shot a cannonball into your gut — that’s the glorious feeling of your ab muscles slowly pressurizing your core into a svelte, seran-wrapped masterpiece.
The Anatomy of The Transverse Abdominis and Planking
Target Muscle: Transverse Abdominis
The transverse abdominis (TA) is a deep, sheath of muscle fibers that forms the innermost wall of the abs; in isolation, it’s physically invisible to the eye. It’s responsible for one thing — abdominal compression. In a physiological sense, that means coughing, peeing, vomiting, childbirth and other savory bodily functions.
For aesthetic purposes — building a lean, steamrolled, tight midsection — the TA sucks in the surrounding regions and acts as a reverse gravitational pull of sorts into the spine. Think of it as having the perpetual opposite effect of bloating and puffiness.
A strong, iron-clad TA not only produces powerful suction and a pancake-flat core, but it also helps decrease lower back pain, preserves posture, and amplifies power and stabilization on standing-based lifts (think military press, squats, deadlifts, etc.).
The effects are abundant and expansive, escalating quickly as strength slowly trickles up.
Complete each exercise in sequence. If you can’t finish everything as-designed, push yourself as hard as possible and gradually work up. Complete 1-3 total circuits per ab workout.
How To Do The Plank Power Progression
1. Traditional Ab Plank
Duration: 30 seconds
Start with a traditional ab plank. Your elbows should sit directly under your shoulder joint, forming a 90°angle with the ground. Maintain a flat back and neutral spine, and don’t let your butt droop.
Hold for 30 seconds and immediately move on to exercise 2.
Reps: 10 per side
Shift your body onto your left side with your body propped up on your left forearm and feet staggered. Form a straight line with your torso and don’t let your hips sag.
Without moving the top half of your body, brace your core, and pull your left knee into your belly button. Kick it back out to start and complete 10 reps.
Once you’re done, flip over, and repeat for 10 reps on the right side. Immediately move on to exercise 3.
3. Plank with Leg Raise
Reps: 10 per side
Rotate back down into traditional ab plank position. Brace your core, contract your butt, and raise your right leg up as far as possible without hunching your back.
Complete 10 reps with the right leg, 10 with the left leg, and then immediately move on to exercise 4.
4. Elevated Side Plank
Duration: 20 seconds per side
Twist back up into left side plank position with your feet stacked. Raise your right hand into the air so that your body forms a “T” and hold for 20 seconds.
Repeat 20 seconds for the right side and immediately move on to exercise 5.
5. Plank with Arm Reach
Duration: 10 per side, or failure
Rotate back down into traditional ab plank position for one final set. With your back flat and core tight, raise your right arm and extend it out in front of your face as far as possible.
Hold for .5 seconds, bring it back down to the floor, and continue for 10 total reps.
Repeat 10 reps with the left arm — DONE. Feel free to complete 1-3 total sets of The Plank Power Progression per workout when emphasizing the core.
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ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto.
I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP
, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid
, and all-around fitness junkie.
I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine
When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses
and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.
Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO)
& Snapchat (BRYDISANTO)
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