A strong core is a priceless asset.
For starters, a strong and stable midsection may improve your balance and posture, as well as assist you to reduce back pain. Made up of many muscles including the rectus abdominis (your “abs”), the internal and external obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen), erector spinae (a set of muscles in your lower back), and the transverse abdominis (the deepest internal core muscle that wraps around your sides and spine), your core really is the centre of all your movement.
The crunch and the plank are two of the most popular core exercises recommended by fitlov trainers, but do they yield the same results?
How to do a Plank?
- Begin with arms outstretched and palms on the floor.
- Stretch your legs behind you and place your toes on the floor. From your shoulders to your heels, your body should create a single straight line.
- Squeeze your whole core, glutes, and quads, and tuck your buttocks slightly under to maintain your lower back straight. Make sure your hips aren’t lowering or your buttocks aren’t hiked up toward the ceiling.
- Place your head with your neck in a neutral position and your eyes focused on your hands.
- Maintain this stance.
How to do a Crunch?
- Lie on your back on the floor, bend your knees, and place your hands behind your head or across your chest. The goal is to support your neck without taking away from the work of your abs.
- In preparation for the action, pull your belly button towards your spine. Slowly contract your abdominals, lifting your shoulder blades 1 to 2 inches off the floor.
- Exhale as you rise, keeping your neck straight and your chin up.
- Hold for a few seconds at the top of the movement, breathing constantly.
- Slowly lower yourself back down, but don’t completely relax.
Plank vs Crunch
The crunch and plank both work the rectus abdominis and obliques. The plank, however, also works the erector spinae, glutes, hip flexors, quads, and deltoids. While the modest crunch can do wonders for your core, the plank gives the best outcomes for sports performance, recovery, and overall fitness. So, if you want to optimize the advantages of your core training, the increased muscle activation that a plank provides is the way to go.
What is the difference between a hover and a plank?
They’re quite similar, and the only distinction between a hover and a plank is leverage.
In a hover, you rest on your elbows, and with your trunk relatively parallel to the ground the lever that is formed by your trunk and legs is lengthened out. Because there is a huge region of the trunk to support and gravity is drawing a longer lever down to the floor, your abdominal muscles must work hard.
Planks, on the other hand, are slightly less difficult. Because you’re up on your hands, your trunk is angled upwards. As a result, the lever becomes somewhat shorter, putting less strain on the abdominals.
Plank vs Hover
While both the hover and the plank are excellent integrated workouts, studies suggest that the hover activates more core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, external oblique, erector spinae, and glute max.