Thu, 23 Jan, 2020

Plank variations

08th September 2019, 03:25 Hrs

Felipe Alvares

The plank is one of the most familiar and effective choices for core work. However, the forearm plank and the side plank are the two most commonly used plank positions, and over a period of time, can become quite monotonous to do. Fortunately, with a little creativity, a basic plank can be amazingly versatile. Just add simple movements and a little resistance to make an already challenging move even more interesting and effective.The following variations are best for participants who can hold a plank with good form for at least a minute.  

Rocking Forearm Plank/Plank Push-up: Start with a forearm plank, elbows and shoulders in line, feet aligned with hips, shoulders locked down and back and spine in line from head to tailbone.Push forward off balls of feet and rock shoulders forward.

At the top of the movement, contract the core and rock back to start. Repeat.For increased effort, continue rocking shoulders forward and bend elbows until chest is close to the floor. Do a full plank push-up to further activate the chest and triceps. Do not let the chest “fall through” between the shoulders.  

Plank Hand Taps: Start in the traditional plank position. Position your fingertips near the top of the mat.Use the top corners of the mat as a guide and remain in “straight as a board” position. 

Contract your core and tap your right hand near the right-side corner of the mat.Bring your right hand back to the start position.Repeat the movement on the left side; alternate. You can add resistance by placing a looped exercise band above your wrists. Each diagonal or lateral movement works the deltoids.  

Plank Straddle Walks: Start in either the traditional or the forearm plank position. Maintaining proper form, step your right foot to the side, and then your left foot. Use the edge or the outside of the mat as a distance guideline.Bring your right foot in, followed by your left foot. Repeat with the same lead leg or alternate legs.You can loop a resistance band around your ankles to target the abductors, making the exercise a little more high on the intensity level.  

Practice the above, and over a period of time you’ll have a rock solid core that will keep your back in position too. 

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