I invented the ABMILL Plank Trainer for a simple reason. After years of looking, I wanted a simple, cost-effective tool to help me in my life-long quest to get better abs. The ABMILL Plank Trainer is the product of that quest, a revolutionary, patented solution borne out of finding the optimum way to work your core. It's simple to use, and it works. There is nothing else in the marketplace that can give you these results.
My journey began as a young man when, despite being on the thin side, I had, from my earliest memories, what looked liked a spare tire. Never bothered me back then, but as I got older and got involved in sports, particularly wrestling, which required wearing a form-fitting uniform, I became self-conscious about my midsection.
Over the years, through high school, college and eventually into the corporate world, I tried many different options. There were sit-ups and crunches, of course, but also more involved solutions, such as hanging knee raises with arm straps, ab rollouts with ab wheels (both the regular and spring-action varieties), and 30-minute group core workout classes. Nothing, no matter how doggedly I pursued them, worked.
I felt there must be some crucial piece of information I was missing. Periodically, I would seek out personal trainers at whatever gym I happened to be at. More often than not, they would tell me, "The dirty little secret that no one wants to hear is that exercises don't really work for your core. If one of my clients wants six-pack abs, I put them on a diet."
Something about this solution didn't ring true for me. Sure, belly fat can obscure muscle tone and cause our midsections to bulge, but I didn't have much if any fat to spare. I felt certain that part of the problem wasn't just diet, but weak belly muscles. The question was, how to strengthen them?
If you noticed, most personal trainers were drawn to the topic of six-pack abs, even though I was asking about something entirely different: a flat stomach. Six-packs abs vs. a flat stomach. BIG difference.
It turns out you can be in incredible shape, with 5% body fat, and still not have a flat stomach. That's because the muscles that give us six-pack abs (the rectus abdominis) are different than the muscles that make our stomachs flat (the transversus abdominis).
Six-pack abs had never been my holy grail. I just wanted to feel fit in my core, be it walking down the street on a date or scrunched in my office chair behind a paper-strewn desk, without having to worry about my stomach bulging over my waistband.
One of the keys to getting a flat stomach is the transverse abdominal muscle. It lies deep within our core and plays a key role supporting our spines, keeping us standing up straight and flattening the abdominal wall. It's like the body's internal girdle.
I tried different ways to target the transverse abdominals, including some that were downright dangerous, and in the process screwed up my back. Can you imagine? Sacrificing my back for the sake of my abs.
It was a few years ago, in the course of seeking treatment for my back, in fact, that I discovered planks as the safe alternative to what I'd been doing.
Planks have become very popular in recent years and for good reason. They work, toning your belly and specifically engaging the transverse abdominal muscle in a safe, effective and fast way. It is simple move, and if you can hold yourself in a plank position for over a minute, till exhaustion, every other day, you've already made substantial progress toward building a stronger core and a flat stomach.
In fact, many experts say even if you incorporate different plank positions into your core routine, most plank sessions need only last only a few minutes. Fast and effective, not bad, right?
I started with the basics, doing a standard plank, also known as a forward plank, an elbow plank or a forward hold. A standard plank is performed by getting into a pushup position, spacing your elbows underneath your shoulders, and then keeping your back straight while supporting your bodyweight on your forearms and toes for as long as you can.
The problem was, almost immediately after getting into a plank position, my elbow area would start in with a dull ache. By the end, my wrists would feel weird and there was a tension in the muscles between my shoulders. It turns out, compressing your forearms against a mat isn't the most comfortable or efficient position for them to be in. When I pushed my hands against the floor to take the pressure off my elbows, it only made matters worse for my wrists and shoulders.
Was I doing something wrong? I dug into things. A little more research.
I discovered that one of the biggest problems with planks is that people use improper form without even realizing it. We let our lower backs sag, putting more strain there and less on our abdominal muscles. So we spend more time being less effective.
To do a plank more effectively, you need to contract your abdominal muscles hard while tilting the bottom of your pelvis toward the floor so your back doesn't droop at all. No more back strain. All the focus of the exercise is now on your abs, where it belongs.
I was happy, with one exception. Using correct form can be even harder on your elbows, wrists and joints.
Research. More research. A lot of trial and error. And finally I had the solution: the ABMILL Plank Trainer.
The ABMILL Plank Trainer makes it easier to build rock-solid abdominal muscles by tackling the biggest problems of the plank position: form and comfort.
The Plank Trainer's simple-but-revolutionary design combines curved, contoured pads with squeezable hand supports. The key to the arm pads is that they are shorter than your arm. So, they allow your elbows and wrists to rest completely off the floor. As you put your weight on your arms to get into proper form, your wrists and elbows do not have any stress at all because they are not even touching the floor. At the same time, the hand supports provide you with balance and help you hold yourself in position longer. Finally, it's all adjustable so it'll work for practically anyone.
Many people tell me that once they've tried the ABMILL Plank Trainer, they never want to go back to planking the old way. I think you'll agree.
Very truly yours,
Inventor & CEO