A Quick Plank Routine For Full-Body Toning

Exercise #2: Alternating Elbow Plank (10 reps per side)

Start in a plank position on your elbows. Pull your belly button up and stretch through your heels, keeping your neck relaxed. Push up to a regular plank position with your left arm, followed by your right. Then lower down to an elbow plank, starting with your right arm, followed by your left. Push up with your right arm, followed by your left, then lower back down to elbow plank using your left arm, followed by your right. That is one rep. Complete 10 more times, trying to keep your hips as stable as you can and your core tight.

Exercise #3: Downward Dog to Cobra (10 reps)

This serves as a mild respite during the workout, as it stretches and strengthens your abdominals and hamstrings at the same time. Start in a downward dog position, keep your back flat, and stretch down through your heels, with your abs engaged and your neck relaxed (don't look straight ahead). Hold for two breaths, then lower your hips down to the mat, stretching up through your abs. Hold for two breaths, then push back up to downward dog. That is one rep. Complete this sequence 10 times.

Exercise #4: Alternating Knee Plank (10 reps per side)

Start in an elbow plank, making sure your shoulders are in line with your wrists. Lift your left leg up and reach it toward your left elbow while keeping your abs and glutes engaged and your hips level. Return to the start position, and then repeat with your right leg toward your right elbow to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.

More: Planks Revamped: 4 Moves to 6-Pack Abs

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About the Author

Susan Grant Legacki

Susan Grant Legacki is the founding editor of LAVA Magazine, and currently serves as the magazine's features and online editor. Prior to joining LAVA, she worked as a Senior Editor at Inside Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine. She is an Ironman finisher, Boston-qualifying marathoner, certified Pilates instructor—and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. You can read more about her on Susanegrant.com and follow her on Twitter at @susanglegacki.
Susan Grant Legacki is the founding editor of LAVA Magazine, and currently serves as the magazine's features and online editor. Prior to joining LAVA, she worked as a Senior Editor at Inside Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine. She is an Ironman finisher, Boston-qualifying marathoner, certified Pilates instructor—and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. You can read more about her on Susanegrant.com and follow her on Twitter at @susanglegacki.

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