Thought planks just worked your core? “Nope, not if you’re doing it correctly!” – says Taylor Ryan at Lifting Revolution.
And by doing these 30 variations they don’t have to be boring any more. The plank can be used for so many different exercises; you could even create an entire body workout, just staying on the ground. Check out the list, and try out your favorites. Let’s do some planks!
1. Elbow Plank (“Classic Plank”)
The classic move is where beginners should start their plank journey.
- Make sure to keep your hips down and head in a neutral or looking slightly forward position. Having a neutral spine is the most important challenge when doing planks;
- Keep your shoulders directly over the elbows or a little bit forward, but not behind;
- Squeeze your hips and thighs together to engage the muscles;
- Don’t forget to breathe;
- Now hold it for as long as possible!
2. Top of Push-up Plank
- Like the classic plank, but extend your arms as if getting ready to do push-ups;
- Hands stay directly under shoulders;
- This might be an easier variation to start with, due to the slight inclination of the body.
3. Side Plank
- Rotate the body and like the classic plank, keep your elbow directly under the body;
- Pull your hips up towards the ceiling;
- Have your top arm placed either on your hip or extended up.
4. Plank Jacks
- Start in the classic plank position;
- Feet start together, then jump them a little wider than shoulder-width apart and jump back to starting position.
- Start at the top of a push-up position;
- With the foot flexed, bring the right knee towards the right elbow;
- Leg is bent to 90-degrees with the hip rotating the foot out, away from the body;
- While you move your leg up, look back towards it to really feel the core work;
- Repeat with the left side.
6. Plank Up-Downs (“Hell Raisers”)
- Start in the classic position and lift the right arm up, placing the hand where your elbow was (right under the shoulder) and pushing up to the top of a push-up;
- Lower back down, one elbow at a time and repeat with the other hand being the “lead” arm.
7. Side Plank Toe Touches
- This is an amazing move for balance as well as the core and shoulders;
- Start in the classic plank, the hand right under your shoulder;
- The top foot remains straight and kicks out and up while your top arm reaches to touch your toes;
- Return to start and repeat until set is over. Then, to the other side!
8. Side Plank Knee to Elbow
- Similar to above as far as starting position;
- The top arm is place with hand on your head and elbow going towards the sky;
- The top leg bends up towards the elbow.
9. Tom Cruise Plank (Mission Impossible Style)
- Start in the top of a push-up position;
- Slowly widen your hands and feet as wide as possible;
- Lower your body down towards the ground so it’s just hovering;
- Hold it…
10. Plank Walks
- Start in push-up position and take a step to the side by moving both your hand and your leg;
- Then move the other side to return to push-up position;
- Repeat so you move down the floor;
- Concentrate on keeping the butt down as it’s easy to let it climb up.
Read more on the next page.
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