Could This Move Be Better for the Abs than the Plank?

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by SELF
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Could This Move Be Better for the Abs than the Plank?

Planks are great, but you can’t create a strong, firm core from planks alone. You need a toolbox of exercises to pull from for some variation in your routine.

Need a new move to try before you head out for your Memorial Day plans: the V Prayer Reach. This gentle exercise targets your ab muscles, specifically your rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis (the lower ab muscles), explain The Barre Code co-founders Ariana Chernin and Jillian Lorenz. Similar to the plank, though, the exercise doesn’t require any equipment or much space, so you can try it anywhere, anytime. No excuses.

Start lying on your back and raise legs straight into the air. Separate your feet about hip distance apart, creating a “V” shape with your legs. Remember to keep toes pointed and take a deep breath in. Then, place your hands in prayer position at your heart. As you exhale, lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the floor. Straighten your arms, sending your hands between your legs (as shown). Be sure to keep your chin away from your chest and shoulders away from ears. Slowly lower and inhale again. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

For more core moves, check out:

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8 responses to “Could This Move Be Better for the Abs than the Plank?”

  1. Avatar Mary Shaw says:

    I’ll stick with planks and plank variations. This exercises puts your spine in a flexed position, then adds load to it. A big no-no for good spine health. Crunches such as these can potentially even cause a bulging, or worse, herniated disc.
    Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out Dr. Stuart McGill, a professor of biomechanics and an expert on the back.

  2. Avatar My Name Is Oliver Queen says:

    If that was the answer to abs, then every single teenage single mother or local skank would have abs as they spend more time in that position than any other!!!

  3. NO!!! This creates so much intra-abdominal pressure – pushes out your 6-pack abs rather than strengthens them; takes out your transverse abdominals – your deepest layer of abdominals. Puts pressure on your pelvic floor. We live in a “crunch like” position all day at the computer, etc., don’t exercise in that position as well! And it is back for your back as well…Moms, it can worsen or create Diastasis Recti as it pushes out your abdominal area. I work with Moms every day trying to help them heal their tummies – this is so contra for good core health and strength!

  4. Avatar Nastasja Jackson says:

    I know that this is very similar to a Pilates exercise called the “V-up” and it is a great exercise and safe to practice if your form is correct using Pilates scoop, engaging your lats, keeping chin away from chest, and breathing. If you do all of these and remember Pilates credo quality over quantity then this is a great way to gain abs as well as strengthen the core.

    Xo,

    Nastasja

  5. Avatar Chri says:

    Oliver queen that’s why your not a king

  6. Avatar Anonymous65 Anonymous65 says:

    it looks and sounds as if it would be very hard for those with neck issues; I’ll pass on this one.

  7. Avatar Scott Teeselink says:

    Way too difficult for the average person. Other ab exercises are more suitable than this. Too much stress on the lower back.

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