You should train your core as having a strong core has a positive effect on performance, posture and sleep too. And the king of all core exercises – the ones that should definitely be included in the best core workout – is plank. Doing planks often can strengthen your lower back as well as get you a six pack faster than doing crunches only. If you want to further speed up the process, here is a plank variation you should try: hardstyle plank.
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Plank looks deceivingly easy to do: you just have to hold your body straight as you support your weight on your elbows and the toes/balls of your feet. But to actually be able to do so, you'll need to flex almost all the muscles in your body. Once you can conformable the plank position for a minute of two, you can try doing hardstyle planks and add them to your best home workout routine.
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How to do hardstyle planks
Hardstyle plank is very similar to regular elbow- or low-planks but as opposed to 'just' holding your body, you pull your elbows and your heel towards the centre of your body, without actually moving them. Essentially, you activate the whole core area even more by trying to pull the limbs in towards the centre of your body.
Another benefit of hardstyle plank is that by doing it, you can segment the otherwise stationary plank pose and make it a bit more interactive. The way it works: you get into low plank position, hold it for five seconds, then pull the limbs in for 5-10 seconds, release for another 5-10, then repeat. You can do 4-5 'reps' within a minute and better still, holding the standard plank will feel pretty easy-breezy in between the intense bits.
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It's important to note that if you lack core strength, haven't done much exercising before and/or struggled with obesity before, jumping into doing hardstyle planks might not be a good idea. Same goes to people with lower back issues and/or scoliosis. If you are at all concerned, please consult a medical professional first before you try hardstyle planks
We came across this excellent core exercise on T-Nation and you should definitely check their video out on it if you need further guidance on how to perform a hardstyle plank.
T3's how-to exercise guides
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- How to do barbell rows the right way: why bent over rows are great to build big back and strong arms
- How to do thrusters: this squat variant is a leg day staple AND a one-move full body exercise
- How to do a push up plus all the best variations on this classic exercise for bigger arms
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- How to do ab crunches for beginners: the best stomach exercises to tone up
- How to bench press effectively and safely: this classic exercise will build a massive chest and big arms and shoulders too
- How to do renegade rows: this upper back exercise also smokes the core, biceps AND shoulders too