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20 Plank Variations for a Shredded and Stable your Core





 
20 Plank Variations for a Shredded and Stable your Core

Planks, without a doubt, are the best core exercise there is. The harder-than-they-look poses in this workout take it up another notch. Adding movement—like, say, raising an arm off the ground—while holding a plank position increases the challenge to your abs.

It also recruits your legs, glutes, back, shoulders, and arms to get in on the action—meaning it can firm you up all over. Try this routine, two or three days a week. Perform 10 to 15 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next without resting.

(If your form starts to slip, raise your hips to give your core a break, or place one knee on the floor for a few seconds. And remember that proper plank form means hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, with your body forming a straight line from head to heels.) Rest for one minute, then repeat the circuit up to four times total.


1. Plank Row And Kickback

Plank Row And Kickback


How to:

  • Start in a plank position with your right hand resting on a dumbbell (A).
  • Row the weight to your chest (B); pause, then straighten your elbow until your forearm is parallel to the floor (C).
  • Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Complete all reps, then switch sides and repeat.
  • Related article: 4 Fat Blasting Cardio Workouts To Achieve A Lean Toned Body

2. Plank With Front Raise

2. Plank With Front Raise


How to:

  • Start in a plank position with your right hand on a dumbbell (A).
  • Extend your right arm straight out in front to shoulder height, keeping your hips parallel to the floor (B).
  • Lower slowly back to start.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Do all reps, then switch sides and repeat.
 

3. Rotating T Extension

Rotating T Extension


How to:

  • Start in a plank position (A).
  • Rotate your torso to the right, raising your right arm toward the ceiling as you roll onto the outside of your left foot (B).
  • Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • That’s one rep.
 

4. Mobility Plank

Mobility Plank


How to:

  • Start in a plank position.
  • Bend your right knee toward your left elbow (A).
  • Pause, then return to plank, keeping your right foot raised a few inches off the floor.
  • Then angle your right leg out to the side while keeping it extended (B).
  • Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • That’s one rep.
 
5. Super plank

 
Super plank


6. Feet-elevated plank

 
Feet-elevated plank


Placing your feet on a step or bench is a simple method to make the basic plank more difficult. Hold the position as usual, keeping a straight line from head to feet, but your feet will be elevated, making it more difficult.



7. Sandbag drag

Sandbag drag


Start in a standard plank position with a sandbag to one side and slightly ahead of you. Then slide it around your torso with one arm. Change arms and drag it backwards. “A modest stack of plates can also be used,” Lightfoot adds. “Move them all to one side, then back to the other.”



8. Side plank
 
Side plank


The side plank has a distinct training effect than the conventional plank in that it puts a lot of tension on the quadratus lumborum, which is a part of the posterior abdominals. Don't be scared off by the Latin name; activating this little, underutilised muscle can help you avoid a lot of lower back pain. To do the move, lie on your side with one forearm right below your shoulder and raise your hips until your entire body is in a straight line from head to toes.


9. Star side plank

 
Star side plank

This is a more difficult form of the side plank that improves the quadratus lumborum's strength. Twist your body to raise one arm until it's aiming at the ceiling, then lift your upper leg as well, starting in an elevated plank posture with hands under your shoulders and arms extended. All four limbs will be stretched at this point, forming a star shape. At the very least, it's shaped like a star. For a somewhat easier form of the exercise, complete the star side plank while supporting yourself on your forearm, as you would with a standard side plank.

10. STANDARD PLANK

STANDARD PLANK


If you’re new to planks (or just haven’t done them in a while), chances are you’ll start to shake when you get tired. But don’t let that intimidate you! Keep holding until you can’t hold your hips up anymore. When they start to drop, stop. Do three sets, holding as long as you can each time. When you can hold it for more than one minute, it’s time to move on to something more difficult. HOW TO DO IT: Get down on the floor and put your elbows and forearms on a comfortable surface. Create a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Hold this position without moving

11. REACHING PLANK

REACHING PLANK

Mix up the standard plank to make things more difficult. This version requires more core stabilization because you’ll be moving your arms. Once you can do at least 10 reps with each arm, move on to a more advanced variation. HOW TO DO IT: Start in a plank, then slowly reach one arm forward until your elbow is straight. Pause for one second, and then pull that arm back and plant your elbow so that you’re in the basic plank again. Alternate arms with each rep, and do as many reps as possible on each side

12. BIRD-DOG PLANK

BIRD-DOG PLANK


Unlike the reaching plank, with this variation you’re trying to balance on one arm and one leg for as long as possible. This is a very challenging exercise, because you’ll need lots of balance and strong arms and legs to hold yourself up. HOW TO DO IT: Start in a standard plank. Reach your right arm forward until your elbow is straight. Now lift your left leg off the ground, keeping your knee straight. Hold this position as long as you can, and then switch sides (left arm reaches forward and right leg goes up


13. PLANK WALK-DOWN

PLANK WALK-DOWN

Incorporate your upper body with this variation. Bonus: This version can help you learn how to do a proper push-up. HOW TO DO IT: Start in push-up position and lower one elbow/forearm to the ground. Then move the other hand down so that both forearms are flat on the ground. Pause, and then take the arm that went down first and plant that hand on the mat. Push yourself up on that side. Then take the other arm, plant your hand and push yourself back up to the top position of a push-up. On the next rep, switch the arm that goes down first. Do five reps going down with the right arm first and five reps going down with the left arm first

14. PLANK KETTLEBELL SLIDE


PLANK KETTLEBELL SLIDE



The real challenge of this variation comes from holding yourself in a plank using only one arm. HOW TO DO IT: Grab a relatively light kettlebell and set it next to you. Get into a plank with the kettlebell on the outside of your left elbow. Reach your right hand behind your left elbow to grab the kettlebell. Drag the kettlebell all the way across your mat and place it outside of your right elbow. Place your right elbow down on the mat. Repeat with the left hand

15. BODY SAW PLANK

BODY SAW PLANK


For this exercise you’re basically going to perform a sliding plank, so you’ll need something to put under your feet. You can use hand towels on a hardwood floor or buy sliding discs to use on carpet. The key to this exercise is to keep your hips in the same position while you pull yourself up; don’t let them drop! HOW TO DO IT: Put the sliders or towels under your feet and get into a plank. Slowly slide your body backward while maintaining a straight line from your head to your feet. Slide back as far as you can with good form, and then pull yourself back using your arms


16. BEGINNER SIDE PLANK

BEGINNER SIDE PLANK



Now it’s time to target your obliques with a side plank. Start off with this beginner variation to build up your strength before progressing to the full version. HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your side, propped up on one elbow and bend your knees so that your feet are behind you. Lean on your elbow and push your hips up toward the ceiling. It may help to have a mirror in front of you for this exercise because you’ll want to make sure that your body stays in a straight line. Keep your hips pushed forward far enough so that you can’t see your knees if you try to look down at them

17. Plank jack

Plank jack


The plank jack is a combination of two traditional favourites: the plank and the jumping jack. Including this in your routine can help you develop a strong core, and it can also be incorporated into a cardio circuit to keep your heart rate up.

18. SIDE PLANK LEG RAISE



This version of the side plank strengthens your hips and the rest of your core, which will help prevent back injuries and make your side-to-side movements stronger. HOW TO DO IT: First, get into the standard side plank position. Once you’re settled, lift the top leg with your knee straight. Hold that position for as long as possible, with your leg as high as possible. Come down and switch sides

19. SIDE PLANK CRUNCH

SIDE PLANK CRUNCH

 

20.Walking plank

Walking plank


Instability and coordination are added to the mix with this one. “Start with a conventional plank posture and work your way up to your hands and elbows,” advises trainer Adam Wakefield. “Try to reposition your hand where your elbow was by moving one arm at a time, then reverse the process.” Add a press-up in between reps for extra triceps work.