Are Planks the Best Ab Exercise?

Question: What are the best exercises to do for abs?

Someone told me that planks were better than anything. I have tried and tried to do that and get nothing from them. I think that I am doing them right. I have watched tons of examples on you tube. I still can’t get anything out of them. Maybe I’m not doing them right. I don’t know.

ab plank 2x3

Answer: Planks are not really very good for abdominal development. Consider them more of a core stability exercise.

A number of studies have shown that bicycle crunches and hanging leg raises activate more motor units (muscle fibers) than other ab exercises.  So these are obviously a great starting point.

Likewise, one of my personal favorites is decline crunches.  As you get stronger you can easily add resistance to these by holding a weight (plate or dumbbell).

I hope that helps a bit.

All the best on your journey to washboard abs,

Dr Clay