Forget The Boring Old Plank And Try These 10 Exciting and Grueling Variations!
The infamous plank exercise can be a particularly grueling part of your workout regime but everyone knows that it’s also fantastic for your body. It helps build tight core muscles and a washboard stomach, improve posture and all with a low risk of injury. Unfortunately you might also think it’s a bit monotonous. However, there’s actually countless plank exercise variations out there to work your muscles even harder as your strength and endurance improves. If you’re tired or bored of the regular old plank then you need to give these 10 new variations a try. Your body will thank you!
For each plank follow these guidelines with regards to reps and times:
- Hold positions for 20-60 seconds
- Repeat 3 times with 1 min breaks between each set
- Push yourself to go 5-10 seconds longer each session
- Perform workouts 3-5 times per week
#1 Plank Jacks
Jumping jacks + plank = serious abdominal workout. Just remember to do these from the straight-armed plank position. Try to do 20-40 plank jacks before moving on!
#2 Caterpillar Crawl Plank
Get yourself a hard and smooth surface and use a small towel beneath your feet to reduce friction. Start with the straight-armed plank position and crawl forwards and then backwards with your arms while focusing on keeping your core tight.
#3 Spiderman Plank
Start by resting your forearms parallel to the floor. With as little twisting as possible, draw one knee towards your elbow and then, push your heel back towards its starting position before repeating on the other side.
#4 Side Plank
Side planks are tough so start off easy before building up to 30 seconds on each side with a quick transition. It’s important when you’re doing this one to keep your spine, head, and neck naturally in line.
#5 Decline Plank
Basically a regular plank, but with your feet elevated using any secure object a bench, table or chair. Good for your upper abs.
#6 Ball Roll Out Plank
Keeping your balance here is a big part of the exercise. Begin in the forearm plank position on the ball and push your arms forward to roll the ball slightly before pulling back up.
#7 Leg Lift Plank
Kick this off from the standard plank position, and then raise one of your legs behind you. Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds and alternate with the other leg.
#8 Leg and Arm Lift Plank
Mastered the leg lift plank? Up the ante by also lifting your opposite arm! It’s essential to keep a horizontal back which is parallel to the floor during the entire exercise.
#9 Leg and Arm Side Plank
Turn up the difficulty level on the side plank position by raising both your top arm and leg into the air as high as possible. Hold for 30 seconds before switching. Focus on maintaining stability through tensing your midsection.
#10 Wall Plank
Push your feet against a wall and try to hold this challenging position for a minute. Increasing the elevation of your feet will increase the difficulty.