Pushups vs. Planks: Which Exercise is Better for Your Abs and Belly Fat?
When it comes to working out the abs, pushups and planks are two popular exercises that come to mind. Both exercises are relatively easy to perform and require no equipment, making them a great addition to any home workout routine. However, which exercise is better for your abs? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of pushups and planks, and help you determine which exercise is best for your own personal fitness goals. Are you struggling to decide between pushups and planks for your ab workout? Discover the pros and cons of each exercise, including how they target belly fat and which one is more effective for your abs. Read now to find out which exercise is best for your fitness goals.
Pushups are a classic exercise that is great for building upper body strength, especially in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. But, what about its effects on the abs?
1. Engages Multiple Muscles
One of the benefits of pushups is that they engage multiple muscle groups, including the abdominals. The abdominal muscles are activated during the movement, as they work to stabilize the body throughout the exercise.
2. Builds Muscle and Burns Fat
Pushups work to build muscle in the upper body and can help to burn fat throughout the body. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest, helping to reduce overall body fat and revealing a toned torso.
1. Poor Activation of Lower Abs
While pushups are great for engaging the upper abdominal muscles, they don’t do as good of a job at activating the lower ab muscles. This means that if your goal is to target your lower abs, then pushups may not be the most effective exercise.
2. Can Cause Joint Pain
Another downside of pushups is that they can cause joint pain, particularly in the wrists, elbows, and shoulders. This can be due to poor form or overuse of the exercise without proper rest and recovery.
So, how many pushups should you be doing?
The amount of pushups you should be doing depends on your current fitness level and goals. Beginners may start with a few sets of 5-10 pushups, while more advanced fitness enthusiasts may aim for 20 or more in a single set. It’s important to gradually increase the number of pushups you’re doing, focusing on proper form to avoid injury.
Planks are a simple exercise that targets the abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques. The exercise involves holding a position that resembles a pushup, without actually performing the pushup movement.
1. Targets all Abdominal Muscles
Planks are an isometric exercise, meaning that they work to hold the contraction of the muscles without actually moving. Because of this, they are highly effective at targeting all abdominal muscles, including the lower abs.
2. Improves Posture
Planks can also improve your overall posture. The exercise works to strengthen the muscles in the back, shoulders, and core, which can help to improve your posture over time.
1. Not a High-Calorie Burner
While planks are effective for building abdominal strength and engaging all abdominal muscles, they are not a high-calorie burner. They can help to tone your abs, but they may not lead to dramatic weight loss on their own.
2. Limited Progression
Another potential drawback of planks is that they offer limited progression opportunities. Once you are able to hold a plank for a certain amount of time (often around one or two minutes), it can be difficult to continue to progress the exercise and make it more challenging.
So, how long should you be holdi
ng a plank?
Again, this depends on your current fitness level and goals. Beginners may start with a 10-20 second hold and gradually increase the time as they become more comfortable with the exercise. Advanced fitness enthusiasts may aim for a hold of one or two minutes or more. It’s important to focus on holding proper form throughout the exercise to avoid injury and maximize effectiveness.
Which is Better for Your Abs?
So, which exercise is better for your abs? The answer is that it depends on your goals and fitness level. Both pushups and planks can be highly effective at targeting the abdominal muscles, but they each have their own unique benefits and drawbacks.
If you’re looking for an exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and helps to burn fat throughout the body, then pushups may be the way to go. However, if you’re focused solely on building abdominal strength and targeting all abdominal muscles, then planks may be a better choice.
Ultimately, the best approach is to incorporate a variety of exercises into your workout routine, including both pushups and planks. This can help you to target all muscle groups and achieve a well-rounded, toned physique.