Is it possible to pump up your abs with a plank?

In the field of fitness, an opinion has formed that the plank is one of the best exercises for the abdominal area. It is done by many athletes, from beginners to advanced athletes. But is it possible to pump up your abs with a plank? This is where many athletes make a mistakes, not only in the execution of the exercise but also in its application in the training program.

Benefits of planks for the abdomen

The plank is a universal exercise that has many advantages. Among the main advantages it is worth highlighting:

  • Working all the core muscles, not just the rectus abdominis.
  • Tummy tuck.
  • Increases endurance in the abdominal region.
  • Ability to hold the body straight for a long time.
  • Fast results and progression.
  • Improving the functioning of internal organs, preventing their displacement due to more rigid fixation of the abdominal wall.
  • Strengthens the deep abdominal muscles, which is especially useful for women.

However, there is one drawback to the plank that is worth considering. While holding a position and prolonged muscle tension, the load on the blood vessels increases significantly. This can be a problem for people with hypertension and other diseases SSS. In this case, it is recommended to do the plank carefully and in short sessions.

Is it possible to pump up your abs with the plank exercise?

The statement that using a plank you can pump up your abs has become almost an axiom in amateur fitness. Beginners start with it, and with this movement, they launch challenges on social networks. But does it really help build abdominal muscles? To answer, you need to understand exactly how muscles grow. To put it simply, muscle growth is achieved through exercise, in the presence of amino acids and calories. And this is the main problem of the plank; the exercise provides a static load. In the absence of muscle contraction, this prevents hypertrophy.

As a result, the abdominal muscles become stronger, become more resilient, but hardly increase in size.

  • If your main goal is to maintain your waist size, then the plank will be an excellent exercise.
  • But if the task is to create a powerful ab with pronounced cubes, then the bar will not help much.

It’s important to understand that the plank is a good movement that, if used correctly, can well increase the level of overall fitness. Static load allows you to maintain a straight body position longer and “teaches” the muscles to acidify longer under load but does not in any way increase their volume.

Recommendations for training

Although the plank is a universal position that can be combined with any type of movement, it is not recommended to do it in a classic block for abdominal training. Muscles exhausted by dynamic movements will get tired very quickly, as a result of which the load will switch to other areas: the lower back, stabilizer muscles, and other areas. This is precisely the main mistake of many athletes who prioritize the amount of time spent, rather than the quality of holding the position and concentration on the abdominal muscles.

Plank: photo.

It is better to give the plank a separate workout, doing 3-5 approaches per block. You should not count on time, it does not affect real progress in the development of the ab. After 50-60 seconds, the muscles are almost completely exhausted and the load moves to other areas. Therefore, it is better to do 5-10 series of 60 seconds than 1-2 sets of 4 minutes.


To the question of whether planking helps improve physical fitness, there is only one answer – yes. This is a good exercise to strengthen your core muscles, improve the functioning of your internal organs, and improve your ability to hold muscles in everyday life. However, if you evaluate whether the exercise pumps up the abs, the answer is likely to be negative. It is possible to tone muscles with the help of a plank, but pumping up abs or creating relief is not. Such a result is achievable only with the help of heavy dynamic movements and proper nutrition.

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