When it comes to training the core in a quick, efficient, and effective manner, nothing beats the Plank. There are many different variations of the Plank, but this article is focused on the traditional version and the side plank. What makes it such a great exercise is that it trains the entire core all at once. The abdominals are the main focus, but the obliques, glutes, and lower back are also challenged.

1. Start off on a yoga mat in the pushup position.
2. Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.
3. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.
4. Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral.
5. Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes.
6. Hold this position until you reach fatigue. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.
The Side Plank is another great exercise that targets the obliques specifically. To perform the exercise:
1. Lie on your side on a mat.
2. Place your forearm that is on the mat so that it is perpendicular to your body.
3. Place your lower leg directly on top of your lower leg and straighten your legs and hips.
4. Raise your body upward until your body is in a straight line from your feet to the top of your head.
5. Hold this position until you fatigue and then repeat on the other side.

These exercises may look deceptively simple as they involve an isometric contraction (no movement). But make no mistake, you will feel the burn!