I've been asked to make my opinion known about a pretty common "core strengthening" technique - the Plank. While it is going to benefit someone who is de-conditioned or has stability issues it is NOT going to improve the performance of someone who has a well established strength base. While the Plank does demonstrate a degree of strength and core stability it doesn't fall anywhere within what I consider functional strength or movement skills.
Do you REALLY want to strengthen your core? Try this:
- Pick up and hold something heavy overhead
- Pick up something heavy off of the ground
- Squat with a load on your front or back
- Pick up something heavy in one hand and go for a walk
- Do straight leg raises or hanging toes touches
- Grab a Kettlebell in one or two hands and do some Swings
- Learn how to properly use the "Wheel of Pain" aka the Ab Wheel
- Do Push-ups (bodyweight variations or on the Push Up Spikes)
But please, don't spend your training time doing Planks! BTW - want to see more justification for not doing planks? Check out this great article!
NOTE: if you insist on doing Planks at least do the RKC Plank. Don't know what it is? I'll be happy to show you how! :)