Light as a feather, stiff as a board.
When it comes to working your core muscles, specifically your abs, you can’t go wrong with the classic plank. It may be simple, but it really hits you right in the gut, pun intended. As with any kind of exercise, though, overexposure builds resistance. While planks are fantastic for building up those abs, after a long stretch of consistent planks, your body will start getting used to it, and your gains will diminish. This calls for… more pain!
To regain those, er, gains, you need to remix that plank into something newer and tougher. The Copenhagen plank is a good jumping-off point, since it’s already one of the most challenging plank variations there are, but why stop there? We’re doing this because the regular stuff ain’t enough, right? Let’s push it to the limit with a Copenhagen plank banded ab crusher, or just “banded Copenhagen” for short.
To perform a banded Copenhagen, wrap a small resistance band around both of your feet. Lower yourself into the typical Copenhagen starting position, with your left elbow under your left shoulder, your right leg propped up on a piece of furniture, and your left thigh directly under your right thigh. With your hips and torso remaining level, move your left leg back slowly, then shove it forward with a burst of strength, with the aim of getting your knee to your chest. Do six of those, then on the sixth rep, hold your position for six to eight seconds, clenching your glutes and abs to stay level. That whole thing is one set; you want three sets for each leg.
This exercise, in addition to kicking your gut’s metaphorical butt, will also give you some lower body action. If you don’t have abs and legs of diamond after a few of these, you’re doing something wrong.