well, HEY =)Getting PunchedOkay, since you brought it up... If you have strong, tight abs, you going to be able to take a punch in the stomach.
a while back here i stated that of my goals is a tigher middle figure, and it was explained to me that by doing "core" excrecices you essentially, ummm, bring ur tunny closer to your back, which is exactly what i want, this isnt about fat % or having a strong enough stomach to get punched or even a 6 pack, i want a tight stomach, RA, Ob's etc.
Think of it as an additional benefit.
so - i was told that doing planks is a good way to start (on top of my normal workout) and when i said i cna only do about 60 secs stright i was advices to do 3 sets of 30 - so as i progress i can no do 40, and evne more, but rather i do feel that after 3 sets i can maybe do more, so i want to ask thisPlanks
I am underly impressed with Planks. While they have some ab training value, I question the glorified value they have received.
From my personal experience, it is my view that the Ab Wheel is bascially a "Moving Plank". I see it as having a much greater value.
Resistance-Band Ab Wheel
The video above demonstarates how to increase the tension (add resistance) to the movement. Different strengths of resistance bands dramatically increase the resistance level.
As Sefan noted, traditional strength training exercise strengthen the "core" (abs, etc).
Angel Spassov, Bulgarian Strength Coach
When ask about ab training at the National Strength and Conditioning Association Conference, Spassov about ab training he replied...
"...if players were squatting, cleaning and pressing, bench pressing, deadlifting and so forth, their trunk muscles were already much more strongly involved than they are during most situps, crunches or machine training."
500 lb Squat/Deadlift Vs 30 Second Plank
Which one requires more core strength?
Research and empirical data demonstrates the core (abs, lower back, etc) are fully activated in heavy lift like these.
Additional Core Work
Based on my personal experience, individual with long turnks usually need additional ab work.
Think of a long torso as a long bridge. Longer bridges need additional support.
The same applies for the majority of long torso individuals.
"Best Ab Exercise
Two of the overall best are...
1) Ab Wheel
2) Hanging Leg Raise
In reviewing the information in the article above, the Peak (lower number) is key.
HEAVY Sit Ups
Contreras did NOT included this in his ab exercise research.
Dr Stuart McGill beats up on the "Sit Up" movement.
However, from my experience, Heavy Sit Ups are one of the best ab exercises there is.
for my goal - which is better, more sets of less seconds? or stick with 3 sets with 1 min in between and raise the time i plank each "set"?Time Under Tension
Increasing the amount of time muscle groups are kept under tension has it place in resistance training.
However, at some point there is a diminishing return.
Length of Tension Time
It is broken down as such.
1) Strength Training: Less than 20 seconds
2) Hypertrophy Training: 20 - 40 seconds.
3) Endurance Training: 40 second plus.
Jungledoc Called It
"In real life you aren't often called on to hold your "core" muscles more than a few seconds, so I prefer more sets of shorter duration, or adding weight to the plank, and keeping them short."
Back To Planks
They are okay. However, other movement will develop the abs/core much better.