The plank can be one of the most versatile exercises out there since the variations are endless. A good old fashioned front plank works your abs, back, shoulder, glutes, quads, hamstrings and inner thighs, so once you’ve mastered it (by that I mean proper form and the ability to hold a normal plank for 45-60s), you should branch out and try other variations. Let’s see a few examples.
1. Side Plank
Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your right forearm so your body forms a diagonal line, making sure to keep your hips and knees off the floor. Place your left palm on your hip. Tighten your abs and hold for as long as you can, then switch to the other side.
2. Knee To Elbow Planks
Start from normal plank position, brace your abs and bring your right knee inwards towards your right elbow, then switch to the left leg and keep alternating for as many as reps possible.
3. One Arm Plank Reaches
Start by doing a traditional plank then raise your right arm and reach out as much as you can in front of your body. Hold for 15 seconds then repeat with your left arm. If you want to up the difficulty, lift your opposite leg simultaneously.
4. Elbow Plank With Donkey Kick
Begin with a normal elbow plank then lift your right leg off the ground, bending your knee so the sole of your foot is towards the ceiling. Press your right heel up as high as you can without moving you lower back or pelvis. Lower the leg slightly, repeat then switch sides. Make sure to focus on keeping your pelvis still.
5. Front Plank With Twist
Come into plank position then twist slightly to the right from your waist. Return to starting position then repeat on the opposite side. What is great about this exercise is that it activates the internal obliques so it is a great way of strengthening pretty much all of your abdominal muscles.
6. Plank Jacks
Incorporate some cardio into you planking and try this coordination improving exercise. Begin in a plank position, resting on your forearms or on your arms held in a straight line, and jump your legs wide and then back together. You can decide the pace, just make sure that your pelvis is steady and that your booty doesn’t rise towards the ceiling.
7. Wall Plank
Get down on your hands and knees, facing away from the wall. Keep your arms straight and put the sole of one foot up on the wall then raise the other foot and make sure your body is straight and parallel to the ground. Keep your core tight and hold for the desired amount of time.
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of how varied a plank can be, tweak your workout and start experimenting. Stay safe to prevent injuries and pave your way to a stronger core.
Get more like this
in your inbox
Sign up for our daily email with fitness and nutrition tips, diets and weight loss programs, health news, and more.