Home Workout and Fitness Tips: Exercising without the Gym

OCTAVE TIPS 8: Get Firm Abs at Home

OCTAVE Institute, the pioneering platform for research, mindful learning, and holistic wellness in China strives to provide a foundation for growth towards a purposeful life, mindfully lived. In the 8th chapter of OCTAVE TIPS, Johnson Hu, the Martial Art & Fitness Instructor at The Living Room by OCTAVE shares home workout and fitness tips to help you stay active and healthy and explains how to get firm abs by doing planks. 

With the recent restrictions, the frequency with which people go to the gym has decreased. Working out at home is convenient, time-efficient, and cost-effective. If you’re looking for a comprehensive core workout to use at home, try planks.

What muscles do planks work?

Many people know that the plank is a very effective exercise for reducing fat, but they might not know which parts of the body the plank strengthens.

The plank is mainly a static exercise for the core muscles and is a basic core training method. The core is the body’s deep muscle group. Training the core muscles can strengthen not only the abdominal muscles but all the muscles of the body. Warm-up and activate the action to proceed.

Planking every day can achieve a series of positive effects such as improving athletic ability, strengthening abdominal and buttocks muscles, protecting the spine, increasing the body’s basal metabolic rate, improving body posture, and improving balance.

The correct posture of a plank

Lie on your stomach, with your elbows bent and supported on the ground, with your shoulders and elbow joints perpendicular to the ground, and your feet on the ground. Then, lift your body. Straighten the torso and the keep head, shoulders, hips and ankles in one straight line. Tighten the abdominal muscles and tighten the hip and pelvic floor muscles. Lengthen the spine. Keep your eyes on the ground and breathe evenly.

Does a longer plank produce a better effect?

Many people believe that the longer you plank, the better your results will be. However, as the time spent on a plank increases, the body’s ability to support itself decreases and the heart rate increases, causing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular stimulation. Therefore, it is important to adjust your practice to suit your physical condition, especially for the elderly and beginners, who are prone to problems when pursuing intensity without a good base of training.

Beginners are recommended to do 2 to 4 sets at a time of 30 seconds to 1 minute for each set, while experienced practitioners are recommended to do 5 to 8 at a time, from 1 minute to 6 minutes per set. The interval time for each set can be half a minute at the beginning of the practice, and then as the practice time increases, the interval time needs to be increased accordingly.

About Johnson Hu, The Martial Art & Fitness Instructor at The Living Room by OCTAVE

Johnson has 18 years of training experience and 12 years of coaching experience. He has been certified as a Professional Fitness Trainer by AASFP, Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer by AASFP, Expert of sports performance by EXOS-XPS, Personal Trainer of the National Institute of Physical Fitness by NSCA, National Fitness Nutritionist, Master trainer by Technogym, Brazilian Jiujitsu blue belt. Johnson’s specialty is tailoring training programs based on students’ individual body condition and training objectives. He is also known to blend into his class the popular elements, resulting in a unique training experience. Now he is working as a martial art & fitness instructor at The Living Room by Octave. 


“OCTAVE TIPS” is a new column from Octave Institute. In each issue, a different expert shares their top lifestyle tips in an easy and accessible way, advising on everything from diet, breathing, sleep, exercise, mindfulness, and healing, helping to foster a happy, healthy, and comfortable attitude to life and way of living.

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