The one exercise that’s better for a strong core than a plank


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Photo: Stocksy/Javier Díez

Say what you want about crunches, but planks are considered the one of the very best core exercises. Gideon Akande, instructor at Shadowbox Chicago, says there’s no doubt about it. But something as simple as a stability ball hold can give you better results.

“How often do you find yourself in a plank position during a normal day?” he says. “A stability ball hold with manual perturbation is better than a plank because it challenges the core in a more functional way.”

When you perform the hold properly—which is way more challenging than it seems—it not only lights up your core as well as your back, legs, and arms, for the perfect total body effort.

How to do a stability ball hold with manual perturbation

  1. Hold a stability ball between your palms with your hands extended and at shoulder height.
  2. Create a slight bend in your knees and elbows and brace your midsection.
  3. Minimize any movement as a friend provides slight taps onto the ball at any and all angles.
  4. To make this exercise more challenging, perform while balancing on one foot.

Now let’s move on to your hamstrings:

If you’re looking for more standing core exercises, these are the best ones to try. Then try the core-quaking moves that one-up crunches in a big way.

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