Core training doesn’t have to be boring. It can actually be a total body workout. Break out of your typical ab routine by adding planks to your core work.
Planks are a safe, challenging and effective way to craft six-pack abs while working muscles throughout your body, including the shoulders, pectorals, biceps, triceps, glutes, quads, hamstrings and many more.
I have crafted 101 different ways to plank. I’ve taken the plank beyond the basic static holds by adding things like unstable surfaces, plyometrics and weights so you see the benefits of not only six-pack abs, but also all-over strengthening.
If you want to spice up your core training while getting a killer full body workout, try these seven plank variations.
1. Add a yoga pose with tree side plank
Start in side plank with the right hand directly under the shoulder and a straight line in the body from head to heels. The shoulders, hips and ankles are vertically stacked. Bend your top knee and place your foot either to the side of your shin or thigh, pointing your knee to the ceiling. Reach the top arm over the head. Hold for 15 seconds on each side.
2. Build upper body strength with push-up side plank
Start in side plank with the right hand directly under the shoulder and a straight line in the body from head to heels. The hips, shoulders and ankles are vertically stacked. Transition from side plank to full plank and perform one push-up and then switch to side plank on the opposite side.
3. Work your entire core with knee tucks on a stability ball
Start in a high plank with hands on the floor underneath the shoulders and shins on top of a stability ball. Maintain a tight core while drawing your knees into the chest and then straighten the legs and return back to plank.
4. Target your obliques with rolling side forearm plank
Begin in a side forearm plank with your shoulder aligned over your elbow and forearm. Stack your hips and feet to create a straight line from head to heels. Bring your top hand behind your head then slowly roll your elbow down toward the grounded hand. Roll back up to side forearm plank to complete one rep.
5. Tone your glutes with medicine ball leg lifts
Start in high plank with hands on either side of a medicine ball. Lift one leg up and perform 10 pulses up and down while keeping hips square and heel pointed toward the ceiling. Repeat on other side.
6. Sculpt a sexy back with dumbbell plank rows
Begin in a full plank with hands on two medium weight dumbbells and feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Draw one elbow back and toward the ceiling as you squeeze through your shoulder blade. Alternate right and left sides after 10 reps on each side.
7. Add some movement with BOSU trainer plank walks
Place the BOSU flat side down and start in high plank with hands on the BOSU. Walk from high plank down to forearm plank and back to high plank again. Keep his square throughout.