A plank is one of the easiest total body moves—what else works your core, arms and butt all at the same time, with no moving and no crazy equipment? And all you need is a piece of solid ground. Here, we’ve amped up the traditional plank to add an extra benefit, targeting those evasive lower abs even more. Same requirements (that is, none), more reward.

Typically in plank, you form a straight line from your head, through your back, and down your legs. This slightly modified version, from trainer Adam James Gallo of The Loft Collective NYC, maintains the fundatmental flat-back-straight-legs form, but adds a slight bend to engage the deep lower abdominals more. To do it, assume a regular plank, then lift your hips just a bit and tuck your butt under a tad. Just always make sure you’re not pushing your butt up into the air—your hips and butt should never be raised higher than your spine to avoid straining and potentially injuring your lower back. Keeping the spine in a straight line is key to get the most out of this move.

Follow these pointers to do an effective—and safe—lower ab plank:

Valerie Fischel
Lower ab plank