Spice Up Your Core Workouts With These 10 Plank Variations
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Get into the standard plank position: Either with arms straight and your weight positioned on your hands, or your elbows bent 90 degrees and both forearms resting on the floor, your body should form a perfectly straight line from the crown of your head to your heels with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes touching the floor.
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Start in the standard plank position with your arms extended straight. Walk to your right on your hands—keeping your feet fixed—stop and pause, then reverse direction and move towards your left. Set your stopwatch for 10 to 40 seconds, and walk back and forth three to six times.
Walking Plank Variation
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To make this exercise harder, add a push-up during the pause portion. Complete three to six sets of 10 to 40 seconds.
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Start in the standard plank position on your forearms. Make sure you feel stable and that your abs are held in tight before you start moving. Drive your right knee towards your right elbow, pause, and return to the starting position. Switch to your left knee and repeat. Complete three to five sets, holding the position with your knee bent for 10 to 30 seconds.
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Start in the plank position on your forearms. Squeeze your abs and glutes, and make sure your shoulder is in a good position. Extend your left arm out in front of you. Now bring your right foot off the floor and hold this position. Complete two to four sets, holding the leg extension for 10 to 30 seconds. If you feel pain in your low back, stop this exercise.
Plank With Donkey Kick
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Get into the plank position on your forearms. Drive your right knee forward towards your right elbow. Then extend your right leg back and up.
Plank With Donkey Kick con't
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Repeat this movement on the same side for three to five sets of 15 to 30 seconds. Then switch sides, and complete on the left.
Side Plank With Leg Raise
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Lie on your right forearm with your feet stacked on top of each other and your left hand on your hip. Bring your hips off the floor—you should now be in a side plank position.
Side Plank With Leg Raise con't
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Raise your left leg up slowly, pause, and return to the starting position. Complete two to four sets of five to 15 reps on each side.
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Get into a side plank position on your right forearm. Reach up towards the sky with your left arm, then bring your left arm down. Reach your left arm under your body in between your right forearm and right foot. Return immediately to the starting position, and repeat the movement. Complete two to three sets of five to 12 reps. To make this exercise harder, put your feet into a pair of TRX foot cradles.
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Start in the plank position on your forearms; tighten your core and shoulders before you start.
Plank Jacks con't
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Quickly hop your feet apart as far as you can, and then hop your feet back together. Complete two to five sets for 10 to 30 seconds.
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Sit on your butt with your hands on the floor (finger tips facing your toes). Before you start, make sure your shoulders are set tight into their sockets.
Reverse Plank con't
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Lift your hips off the floor and squeeze your belly button tight. If this exercises gives your wrists problems, drop down onto your forearms. Complete two to four sets, holding the plank in the raised position, for 10 to 40 seconds.
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Start on your hands and knees with your hands positioned slightly in front of your shoulders. Put your right foot on the wall first, followed by your left foot. Now you are in a wall plank position.
Wall Plank con't
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Keep your core tight and hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Complete two to four sets.
Body Saw Plank
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Start in the plank position on your forearms. Tighten your core and set your shoulders tightly into their sockets. Move your entire body forward--your head should go just beyond your hands.
Body Saw Plank con't
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Move back into the starting position, and repeat the movement. Complete three to four sets of 10 to 20 reps.