We’ve all seen them…
Those Navy SEALS whose build is like something straight out of an American steel mill…
Who can stand next to your favorite comic book superhero and make them look small.
Whose very presence makes you stand at “attention”.
SEALS are rock solid… To the core.
No really… Their abs make Captain America look like he should lay off the hamburgers.
But what makes the midsection of these Navy SEALS so polarizing?
What extreme exercises are they performing?
That’s right, your good, ole’ fashioned planks.
Planks are THE core of all core workout for Navy SEALS.
So if you’re ready to chisel out your abs like some our finest American heroes, hit the floor, and follow this ‘Planking for Abs’ Navy SEALS workout.
Planks have suddenly fallen by the wayside in many core workouts. But not for good reason…
The truth is, planking for abs is one of the most effective core workouts you can perform…
Let me give you three reasons why planks are so effective and then I’ll give you some simple movements so you can get started A.S.A.P.
Yet before we get to that… how about one of the most action packed scenes from the movie Act of Valor in honor of the SEALS…
(To be honest… I don’t think Hollywood could do these guys justice… back to the planks.)
Build Your Foundation On Planks
The world’s largest buildings are built on basic foundations. Impressive abs are no different. They’re built on a solid foundation. No other exercise works on the foundation of your core like planks…
When you’re planking for abs, you’re training your inner-core muscles.
These muscles create a stronger and more defined rectus abdominis – also known as the front part of your abs that you stare at when you look in the mirror (Yeah, we all do it).
(for some of us, you may see more fat instead of abs when you look in front of the mirror. If that’s you… download the free gift below…)
Want your abs to work for you on the surface? Make sure they’re working for you below the surface. Use planks to get down to the foundation and build a fine set of abs.
“Work Smarter, Not Harder”
You’ve heard the phrase: “Work smarter, not harder,” right?
Unfortunately this cute little catch phrase has been used to permit laziness at home, work, and in the gym. But you’re not a lazy guy…
If you were, you wouldn’t be on the quest for Navy SEAL abs!
So what’s at the core of working smarter but not harder?
That’s what you’re about.
A plank is one of the most efficient core exercises you can perform.
In one simple movement you’re engaging your Transverse abdominis (good-bye love handles), Rectus abdominis (6-pack), obliques muscles, and even (for a little extra incentive) your glutes. You’re killing four birds with one stone!
Instead of worrying about doing a set of 50 sit-ups, and then 25 oblique twists, and then some side crunches, get it all in at once. Plank.
When you’re crunched for time, can the crunches, think smart, and plank.
And now… meet SEAL Team 6 (these guys are unbelievable)
Use Planks to Start Your Metabolic Fire
If you care about showing off your abs, you should care about your metabolic rate.
Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy you expend while resting…
The higher your metabolic rate is, the more calories you burn while you’re sitting at your desk at work, playing a video game with your kids, and even while you’re catching those zzz’s before doing it all over again.
Do you want to crush calories, casually?
Start performing planks, daily.
Planks burn more calories than your old sit-ups and crunches because when you plank, you’re strengthening a variety of muscles that will ensure your body burns more energy while resting.
Even better, planks fire up your metabolism with such force that your metabolic rate will burn throughout the entire day (and night).
Cut the calories. Cut the fat. Carve the abs. Planks can do it all.
(this Marine below may not be a SEAL… but he’s got one of the strongest cores and functional muscle I’ve seen… what do you think?)
Convinced that you should start planking for abs, yet?
Good. Here’s the How-to:
HOW TO PLANK
One (of the many) benefits of planking for abs is that the planking movement itself is rather simple. The essence of a plank movement is found in its name: Plank.
Though there are a few variations I’ve listed out for you below, the concept is simple, hold your body, primarily your core, in a stiff position by flexing your abdominal muscles.
Oh, and remember, shaking during the movement is normal. The more you work on planking for abs, the less you’ll shake.
Check it out:
First, find a flat surface. Start the exercise by lying face down on the floor.
Then, place your forearms about 6-8 inches apart from each other on the ground directly in front of your face.
Straighten out your legs and place them together.
When you’re set: lift yourself onto your forearms and your toes at the same time so that your core is parallel with the floor.
Squeeze your abs throughout the entire movement to get that Navy SEAL look and the best results…
Hold this position for as long as you can, or in increments of 15 seconds to a minute.
If planking on your forearms causes too much stress for your forearm itself, simply plank with your hands on the floor and your elbows in a locked out position.
I bet you didn’t think it’d be this simple.
Pro Tip: If the plank feels a tad-bit easy… do this:
(Skip to 1:35 of this video)
Move your elbows in front of you 2-3 inches.
This will lengthen your abdominal muscles even more and take the load off of your triceps and shoulders and place it greatly on your midsection.
You’ll shake like a leaf. I guarantee it.
Ready to challenge your core some more?
Give a single-leg plank a try. Here’s how it’s done…
Raise one of your legs toward the ceiling without compromising the position of your back.
Focus on flexing your abdominals and keep your hips and stomach parallel to the floor.
Lifting one of your legs will require more engagement from your abdominals, and will ramp up the results. After you’ve lifted one leg, for 15-30 seconds, switch to the next.
(Get this guy a towel! Anyway… good instructional)
Want to shave off those love handles?
Turn to the side.
Beginning from the standard plank position, rotate your body so that you’re leaning on your right forearm and your right foot.
Lift up on your right forearm and raise your hips so that your body is in a straight line. Flex your abs with a special focus on squeezing your oblique muscles…
Hold this position for 15-30 seconds and then switch sides.
These are the basic plank for abs movements that are sure to strengthen your core, shred up your abdominals and steal the show, or should I say, SEAL the show…
After you’ve mastered these movements, the variations are endless (see video below).
Dedicate yourself to the plank, lock in your core, get creative and get that Navy SEAL build you’ve been searching for.
WANT SOME MORE PLANKING ACTION? CHECK OUT THESE 100 PLANK VARIATIONS
If you enjoyed the article, on how to use isometric exercises for abs, you’ll like the Free Abs Training Workouts in this link. In it, you’ll discover proven ab shredding exercises (you’ve probably never tried), that will help you build a ripped six-pack or a flat, toned stomach without endless frustration or back pain. Just click the banner below.