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When it comes to a sports training workout, the most popular area to target is your stomach, with the focus placed squarely on sit-ups to remove the top layer of weight. However, there is one main problem with this method - nobody likes sit-ups! This dislike leaves most people to skip their core muscle workout.

Strengthen Your Core Without Situps!

If you find yourself struggling to gain results on your mid-section and have been looking for a viable alternative to sit-ups, you have come to the right place. In this article, Athletic Republic Pittsburgh has some great planking positions for you to use to strengthen your core and banish sit-ups from your sports training workout forever.

The Forearm Plank

Let's start with the basic position, and the one shown in the picture above. The forearm plank looks similar to a push-up, however, requires no movement.
  1. Start with your body in the upright push-up position, with your toes taking the weight of the bottom half of your body
  2. Lower your upper body by bending your elbows and placing your forearms on the ground. Your forearms should now be taking the weight of your upper.
  3. Tighten your core (stomach) muscles and align your body into a straight line from your heels to your head.
  4. Hold for 60 seconds
If this exercise sounds basic, it's because it is. But don't let that fool you into thinking that it isn't effective. Additionally, if you are completing this plank and it feel like it's too much, reduce the amount of time you hold the position. Like any exercise, planking isn't something that you need to rush into. Take it at your own pace. If you would prefer to exercise with guidance, speak with Athletic Republic Pittsburgh at 724-933-4317 about moving your sports training workout to a sports training center where trained professionals can help.

One-Legged Plank

Now it's time to step it up - literally. On top of increasing your core strength, the one-legged plank exercise also tests and increases your balance abilities.  Combined, these can help you stand taller and with better posture, not only helping you to feel stronger but also positively affect your digestion.
  1. Similar to a forearm plank, start in the raised push-up position with your toes taking the weight from your lower body, and your palms taking the weight of your upper body.
  2. While keeping both legs straight, raise one leg up so that it is parallel with the floor
  3. Hold for 60 seconds.
  4. Slowly lower the raised leg until you are in the first position.
  5. Alternate to your other leg and raise it, also for 60 seconds.
  6. Continue steps 2 through to 5 until you are unable to hold your original position.
If you want to take this plank position even further, lower your arms so that your forearms take your weight, and continue alternating your leg raises. If 60 seconds seems too easy, don't be afraid to leave your leg lifted for longer. As long as your legs remain straight, as does your body, the longer you can hold each position, the greater the effects will be.

Knee-Bend Plank

The knee-bend plank is one of the harder plank positions. In addition to the effective core muscle workout, this plan position will also work out your lower abdominals and boost your balance.
  1. Like most plank position, start in the raised push-up position, with your toes taking the weight of your lower body and your palms taking the weight of your upper body.
  2. Tighten your core and ensure your body is straight from your heels to your head.
  3. Slowly, move your right knee with the intention that it will connect with your left elbow. Keep in mind that there won't be any connection, you only need to go through the motion to get it close.
  4. Return your right knee until you are in position 1.
  5. Slowly raise your left knee, again with the intention that it will touch your right elbow.
  6. Continue these steps until you are unable to hold your plank position.

Boost Your Overall Fitness at a Sports Training Center in McCandless

If you want to increase your core strength and strip away body weight from your stomach and midsection area, planking is a great alternative to sit-ups. However, the key to effective planking is your technique. Always ensure that your body maintains a straight line and that you are always engaging your core muscles. If you feel like you could use some assistance to get the most out of planking, or any other aspect of your sports training workout, speak with Athletic Republic Pittsburgh at 877-571-4042 and learn about how exercising at a sports training center in McCandless can help you reach your fitness goals.