PLANKS, POW­ERED UP

A calo­rieburn­ing rou­tine that will ma­jorly trim your mid­dle.

Shape (Singapore) - - Front Page -

From barre class to boot camp, planks are ev­ery­where – and that’s be­cause noth­ing beats them for strength­en­ing your core, says US trainer Kira Stokes, cre­ator of the Stoked Method, a high-in­ten­sity train­ing sys­tem. “The core mus­cles [in­clud­ing abs, back, and glutes] power all of your body’s move­ments,” Kira says. “Firm­ing them up will im­prove your per­for­mance, pre­vent in­jury, and make daily ac­tiv­ity feel eas­ier.” Plus, cinch your waist.

But a static plank doesn’t rank high on the calo­rie-burn­ing scale, so for this HIIT quickie, Kira cooked up mov­ing ver­sions that let you burn while you firm, and added ply­o­met­ric bursts to fire things up even more. Your mis­sion through each of the three mini cir­cuits: “Keep mov­ing so your heart rate stays up and you boost your metabolism,” she says.

And make sure your planks are on point: First, your hands or fore­arms should be di­rectly be­low your shoul­ders. Roll your shoul­ders back, draw your navel in to­wards your spine, squeeze your glutes (so much so that your butt looks flat), and tuck in your pelvis so it’s in line with your hips, says Kira. “This pro­tects your spine and helps you bet­ter en­gage the glutes, so you firm your back­side as well as your abs,” she ex­plains.

Fi­nally, en­gage your quads and push through your heels to lengthen your calves. Got your form in check? Good. Now you’re ready to (re)meet the plank.

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