Planks are one of the best ways to build a strong core and incorporate the entire body in one simple movement. However, sometimes holding a plank for more than a minute can feel impossible and plain boring. Here are some different plank variations that can help make that minute fly by and switch up your routine. When you are doing any plank variation make sure you keep your shoulder blades pinched together, your core engaged and your butt down without dropping your hips. Also think about squeezing everything in your body to make it a full body movement.
Plank walk: Start in a high plank position, keeping your shoulders and hips square, walk one arm at a time down onto your forearms. From there walk one arm at a time back up to the high plank position.
Plank hip dip: Start in a regular plank postion. Keeping your core tight and shoulders square, slowly dip one hip to the side and repeat on the other side.
Plank saw: Start in a regular plank position. Keep your arms where there are at as you press your body up and over your shoulders through your toes then press back into the starting position through your heels.
Single arm or single leg plank: Start in a regular plank position. When you feel comfortable slowly lift one leg or arm (both if you are feeling crazy!) off the ground. Hold for as long as you can while still keeping correct plank form.
Plank tap combo: This one gets me everytime! Hold a high plank position. Tap your wrists by alternating arms while staying in a plank position. Do this for 20 seconds. Repeat for 20 seconds at your elbows, 20 seconds at your shoulders and 20 seconds at your hips. While doing these movements the goal is to keep your shoulders and hips square without rocking side to side. After you have tapped your hips for 20 seconds you will tap your knees for 20 seconds. From here you will need to push your butt to the sky into a pike position. Then come back to a plank and repeat on the other side. Once you have done that for 20 seconds you will tap your ankles for 20 seconds. You will also need to take this to a pike position to tap then return to a plank. By the end of this combo you will have held a plank for 2 minutes.
Spidi plank: Start in a regular plank position. Drive your knee all the way up to your elbow in a “spiderman” position. Come back to a plank and repeat on the other side.
Plank row: For this one you will need to add some weights. Start in a high plank position with the weights in your hand. Keep your shoulders and hips square as you row one weight up to your chest feeling your shoulder blades pinch together. Drop down to the high plank position and repeat on the other side. If you want to turn it up a notch add a pushup before you row!
Madison Murray is a certified personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, a certified sports and exercise nutrition coach and a certified functional strength coach. For more information head to www.madfitaz.com or check her out on instagram at @mmmadisonmurray