Healthy Life - Jennifer Lopez and Khloe Kardashian have amazing bodies thanks to grueling hours in the gym with personal trainers and strict diets.
Like most women, I've always been determined to get a defined, flat stomach. But after years of doing 500 crunches during every workout, I learned that determination only gets you so far when the approach is wrong. Even an entire hour of crunches won't match the body benefits of a 10-minute plank workout.
The plank is one of the best exercises for a flat, toned stomach because it works all the muscles in your core, including the rectus abdominus (the "six-pack muscles" you can see), transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips, and back.
Why not just focus on the six-pack muscles? Strengthening your entire core is not only crucial for sculpting a flat stomach, but these muscles also provide support for the entire body in everyday movements, reduce back pain, and improve posture. Plus, planks burn more calories than sit-ups or crunches because they recruit muscles in the legs, arms, and rear too. It's truly the ultimate total-body toner!
Here are some of my favorite plank variations. Start with the first four, holding each exercise for 30 seconds (work up to 1-minute holds). Do each plank variation once and then repeat the entire series 2 more times (3 times total). When you feel comfortable with the first four planks, advance to incorporate the next three (No. 5-7), holding each one for 30-60 seconds. For a killer core workout, combine all seven into one routine.
Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Hold this position for 30 second while breathing deeply.
Plank with Leg Lift
Get into plank position on your forearms with your abs in tight. Engage your glutes to lift and hold one foot a few inches off the floor, foot flexed. Do 10 lifts on one side, and then switch legs.