Let me start off by being honest…I have lied!
For the past 6 years I have been working with people to develop a 5-minute plank hold. I would have them set up in plank and see how many times they needed to break or go to their knees while accumulating 5 minutes of holding a plank position. I always thought this would be the best way to develop a strong midsection – but I was wrong!
New research and 21st-century fitness is pointing to doing plank holds for shorter durations but contracting more muscles. RKC (Russian Kettlebell Club) suggests starting with 10-second holds (working up to 30 seconds), but contracting your fists and making all muscles activated except the neck. The goal is to make fists, contract your arms, contract your legs, and squeeze your legs together.
This video below gives a great demonstration, but for those looking to create a strong midsection this would be a great 2-to-3-minute workout. With the abundance of sitting in today’s world and the weakening of most peoples’ midsections, this meets their goals of building strength while meeting their goal of not taking up much time.
When it comes to weightlifting, utilize the same concept and squeeze the bar tight. Squeeze the bar extremely hard, so much so that you notice a discoloration in your knuckles, especially when going for 1 rep maxes. Some coaches say that you want to grip the bar so hard you feel like you are going to make an imprint in it.
Find what your 1 rep max is now in many lifts including bench press, then retest while squeezing the bar tight and watch the PR climb.
Who says that “Jersey Shore”brought no value to our lives and health?