Where do most “newbies” start their abdominal training? Most likely with some sort of crunch: floor crunches, swiss ball crunches, twisting crunches, med ball crunches, machine crunches, and what ever other crunch you could think of. But is there where most people should start their abdominal training? The answer is no. The abdominal region (or let’s use one of the most overused training words around, “core”) is meant to provide a link to the upper and lower bodies. In order to provide a link, the area has to be stable. If not, there will be energy leaks as force is transferred from one part to the other. So in order to train the “core” to provide stability, you have to use “core” stability exercises, which definitely are not crunches. But a prone plank does.
This is where all abdominal training should start. Perform 2-3 sets of these starting in the 30-45 second range and then gradually extend your time to the point where you can get 90-120 seconds.
The keys are: 1) maintain a straight line from your feet to your shoulders (no ass in the are; it’s a plank not a draw bridge) 2) brace your abdominal area like George Foreman was about to punch you in the gut (do not bring the belly button to the spine). Good luck.