How to do it
The humble plank is a fine exercise, but easy to outgrow: once you can hold it for a couple of minutes, anything further is a waste of time. According to a study from the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research, battle ropes could be the solution.
During one ten-minute session, volunteers saw their heart rates hit almost 180bpm, while their blood lactate reached almost 12mmol per litre – a similar effect to that of high-intensity sprinting and cycling. Combine that with holding a plank, and it’s like unleashing an earthquake on your abs.
Sets 5 Time 15sec each side Rest 30sec
Start in a plank position with the rope in front of you. Once you’re settled in the position, grab the rope with one arm and commence thrashing. For extra points and a further test of your core, keep your torso as parallel to the ground as possible.
Need a further challenge? Trainer Jeremy Scott has the battle rope workout that’ll carve you a core of iron
- 1. Easy side plank
- Simple: rest on one elbow and make waves with the rope. It’s slightly easier than the rope smash plank because your centre of gravity is more forgivingly placed.
- 2. Moderate grappler throw
- The next best thing to being in a wrestling match. Thrash the ropes from side to side while standing and let your obliques take the strain.
- 3. Advanced one-arm, one-leg plank
- Like the rope smash plank – only worse. Get into a plank position with one hand and the opposite foot on the floor and begin waving. Try not to collapse, as much as it might amuse other gym-goers.
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