We don’t know too many people who get excited about doing planks. Generally, you stare down your timer as the minute (or more) runs down. And while we’re being candid, let’s just come out and say it: Planks destroy your abs. For a pretty basic isometric exercise, planks strengthen your entire body—they make your core pop, strengthen your lower back, and build your shoulders.
Better yet, you don’t need any equipment, and you can amp up the intensity by widening your stance and bracing yourself with your hands instead of your forearms and elbows. See for yourself. Check out what Keith Scott, A.T.C., C.S.C.S., a strength coach in Medford, N.J., recommends for conquering the plank before you attempt any heavy weight exercise. You’ll be better for it, guaranteed.