hey are the two most popular core training moves, but do they produce the same results? We put the crunch and the plank to the test.
If you're keen to find the smartest way to work your abs - and enjoy the increased stability, and lower risk of injury that comes from a strong core - here's where you'll find it.
Should you plank, or should you crunch?
The crunch is a dynamic movement. It's a spinal flexion - a forward bend of the spine.
The plank is a static hold. An isometric contraction of the muscles of the spine.
What muscles do you work?
Both the crunch and the plank engage the rectus abdominis and the obliques. However, the plank also targets the erector spinae, the glutes, hip flexors, quads anddeltoids.
Why we love these moves
THE VERDICT: the plank is the winner
While the humble crunch can work wonders for your core, the plank provides optimal results when it comes to aiding sports performance, rehab and general fitness. So, if you really want to maximize the benefits of your core training the increased muscle activation you get with a plank means it's the way to go.
When to choose crunches over the plank
If you have weak wrists or shoulders choosing to challenge your core with crunches may be the best bet.
Technique tips: what to watch out for
The perfect plank prescription
Article by Emma Hogan supplied by Les Mills International