Planking often feels like a who-can-hold-it-longest strength contest, but maybe those sweat-inducing, core-shaking times aren’t actually necessary for achieving your strong-girl goals. At least according to one expert.
Professor and spine specialist Stuart McGill, PhD, told The Telegraph that to see results from planks, holding the position longer than 10 seconds is pointless: “There’s no utility to this kind of activity other than claiming a record,” he said. Instead, he believes plank benefits come from short, frequent holds, AKA the proven-effective method of interval training.
“There’s no utility to this kind of activity other than claiming a record.” —Stuart McGill, PhD, said of holding a plank for an extended period of time.
So, instead of going about your typical routine to see how long you can hold your plank, try Dr. McGill’s body-blasting method to feel the burn at the gym. He suggests multiple reps of 10-second planks to fire up your abs, glutes, and hamstrings.
And if you really want to see results, McGill notes the Big 3 is where it’s at, which involves curl-ups, side planks, and bird dog exercises, which increase the endurance of muscles around the spine. Potentially better results from less planking? It’s a workout warrior’s dream come true.
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