Plank Variations: A Rock-Hard Core Workout in 4 Moves

August 20, 2015

Plank Variations: A Rock-Hard Core Workout in 4 Moves

Who doesn’t want a flat tummy? As well as being unsightly, fat around the abdomen can also be a health hazard. If you really want to achieve rock-hard abs, you need a high intensity workout that will challenge your body in several different dimensions.

The following four plank variations of the standard exercise will help you on your way to building that core. Don’t forget you generally will need to maintain a lower-calorie diet in order to see results.

Before moving on with the plank variations, you need to master the basic plank; this will provide you with a foundation for the following variations as well as many more. Begin by propping yourself on your toes and forearms. Make sure that your elbows are in line with your shoulders and that your spine is level. Your hips should not be up in the air. Keep your head in a neutral position, and don’t be tempted to stretch out your neck. 

Plank with Leg Raise

Position yourself on your exercise mat in the standard plank position. Make sure that your lower back is straight. Raise one leg from the ground until your heel is slightly higher than your head. Hold the position while counting to 8. Lower your foot and repeat with the other leg. This comprises one repetition. Complete 2-3 sets of 10 reps.

Plank Jacks

As well as working your core, this variation of the plank will also strengthen your lower body and arms, as well as getting your heart pumping. Start in the standard plank position with your spine straight and abs pulled in tight. Keeping your arms and shoulders in position, begin doing jumping jacks with your legs. Maintain a steady pace that you are comfortable with. Complete a total of 15 jumping jacks; this is one set. Then do two more sets.

Side Plank

Start in a straight-arm plank position then pressing your right hand into the mat, turn your body leaving your weight on the outside of your right foot. Rest your left foot in top. Holding your torso straight, lift your left arm, fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Tighten your ab muscles and hold your core straight. Hold for one minute then return to the straight arm plank position then repeat on the left side; this is one rep. Complete 10 more reps.

Push-up Plank

Begin in a straight-arm plank position, making sure that your arms are shoulder-width apart. Your fingers and eyes should be pointing straight ahead. Lower your body until it is in line with your arms. Do not allow your body to touch the floor. Then straighten your arms again. Complete eight push-ups; this is one set. Repeat two or three more sets.


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