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14.08.2019


For core muscles development, plank exercises and back extensions are irreplaceable

According to some trainers, bodybuilders and other athletes do not need isolation exercises for the core muscles at all. If you're doing lunges while you're stuck to an elastic band to make you more unstable, you'll train the core muscles just as well - or even better. Say the trainers. In PLoS One, sports scientists from Western Norway University come to a different conclusion.

Study
The researchers had 21 young female recreational athletes perform different exercises that activate the core muscles. These exercises included plank exercises such as the prone bridge and the side bridge, but also the back extension.


For core muscles development, plank exercises and back extensions are irreplaceable


The women also did lunges, performed on a stable surface and on an unstable surface. According to some studies, the latter performance stimulates the core muscles more intensively.


For core muscles development, plank exercises and back extensions are irreplaceable


For core muscles development, plank exercises and back extensions are irreplaceable


Finally, the women performed forward lunges while they were attached to an elastic band. As a result, their obliques, abs and erector spinae should work harder.

On the skin of the women the researchers had attached electrodes, which enabled them to determine to what extent the muscles under the skin were activated.

Results
Plank exercises and back extension stimulated the core muscles better than lunges.


For core muscles development, plank exercises and back extensions are irreplaceable


"Based on these results, we recommend using isolated core exercises when the primary goal is to improve muscle activation and elicit hypertrophy, but integrated exercises once adequate initial hypertrophy is achieved", the Norwegians write.

Source:
PLoS One. 2019 Feb 27;14(2):e0212216.

More:
What's better? Twists with a machine or an elastic band? 28.12.2016
Pushups using the BOSU and the T-bow - more effective or not? 14.09.2016
The best way to do the plank 13.01.2015

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