Traditional Planks Suck. Here’s How To Properly Plank To Get Six-Pack Abs
At some point or another, every single Bro out there trying to get a six pack has planked. Getting into position, maybe having terrible hazing flashbacks, and holding that position for what feels like eternity. We all do it because we’re told it’s a badass core exercise without ever questioning.
After first learning how to do a plank, people generally start doing them for extended periods of time. Because that’s the only way to make a plank harder, just do it for longer. Unless of course you’re one of those fuck boys who goes through the process of putting a weight on top of your back and then planking.
Nothing says you’re the ultimate badass like being able to hang out in bows and toes for hours at a time, amiright?
Yeah fuck that. Not only does sitting in bows and toes for 3 minutes at a time sound miserable. It is miserable, and it’s also not the best way for you to work your abs in a plank position.
The traditional plank is dead wrong for a couple of reasons:
- The “core” is best trained when it fires hard for a short period of time. 10-20 seconds maximum.
- Traditional planks don’t cause enough deep core activation.
When you hold a traditional plank position for an extended period of time, it’s impossible for your core to activate as hard as necessary to get real benefit from a bodyweight exercise. What winds up happening is that you lose activation in your core, and you start hanging out on the anterior ligaments of your hip.
In case you haven’t taken an anatomy course, the anterior ligaments of your hip aren’t exactly what you’re looking to work with a plank. Excessive wear on those bad boys can lead to hip issues, and make things like anterior pelvic tilt/male pattern pancake ass even worse.
Traditional planks suck. However they have an awesome replacement. The RKC Plank.
Remember us going over how the core is best trained when it fires at maximum intensity for just a brief period of time, like 10-20 seconds? The RKC plank uses that method, and applies it to the plank.
How you do it:
- Get in a normal plank position.
- Squeeze the fuck out of everything you have. Squeeze your ass, your shoulders, and your arms. Contract your abs hard by thinking about pulling your elbows and toes together.
- Hold that. After about 10 seconds you should be contracting so hard that you actually start to shake.
Why the RKC plank kicks so much ass:
The RKC plank doesn’t suck your soul quite like a normal plank does. It’s done in really short and intense bouts that shouldn’t take any more than 10-20 seconds. Kind of like my sex life. All hot, sweaty, shaky, and I’m the only person who enjoys it.
The RKC plank also recruits far more ab muscle to work. Because you contract so hard, you create more rigidity in the core, which can help overall core strength and posture. This has massive carryover to help the big lifts like the squat and deadlift, or your everyday posture – which is especially important if you’re a desk jockey.
When to work in the RKC plank:
Just like the normal sucky plank, this version can be thrown into any workout, at any point. One of my favorite things to do though is do it at the beginning, when I’m fresh, as a sort of dynamic warm up.
After going through my mobility work, I’ll set a 2 minute timer. Plank hard for 10 seconds, rest for 20, and repeat until time is up. It’s a really easy way to make sure that I’m warm for my workout, my core has gotten top notch quality work, and I’ve saved time.
If you feel like only 10 seconds of planking is for scrubs and you ain’t no scrub because a scrub is a guy who thinks he’s fly, and also known as a buster (RIP Left Eye), then you’re not tense enough. Focus hard on contracting your abs, and bringing your elbows to your toes. Squeeze baby squeeze.