Planks are one of those standards that people think everyone should do. But to be honest, most people holding a plank are just hanging out. They’re barely even contracting their muscles and instead just holding on and waiting for it to be over. Too lazy to read? Check the plank video out here!
Exercises like that have never seemed overly effective to me. However, I do like the idea of planks. So instead, I chose to use plank variations with my clients. I find these four variations challenge them more than the traditional exercise and they have to work harder.
Instead of just waiting for their sixty seconds to be up, clients are actually working their muscles the entire time.
So below are four plank variations that make life harder.
RKC planks are hard as hell. But you’ve got to make them hard. Instead of just holding the plank your goal is to contract any and every muscle without moving. Clench your fists, lockout your knees, think of your feet pushing out, squeeze the glutes while lifting the belly button, drive your elbows out. But remember, don’t actually move!
Contracting each muscle should be intense and thus this plank is normally only helped for about 10-15s. If you’re not feeling anything burn after four second you’re not too strong (I promise) you’re just doing it wrong.
Grab a stability ball, start your plank and proceed to make circles with the ball using your elbows. But don’t break form! Not only does this challenge your trunk but your shoulders will be struggling too!
Best done with your feet in TRX straps come into an elevated plank. Then proceed, slowly, to push your body back and forth from our elbows. Again, super tricky to hold and your shoulders will get some work out of it too!
This type of plank is similar to a rollout or a hollow body. From a plank on your hands begin to walk each hand away from your body while maintaining form. You’ll feel a stretch in your abs, your shoulders will scream and you may feel like falling on your face. Now walk the hands back and repeat. It’ll be fun, I swear.
Looking for a demo? Check it out my demonstration Plank Walkout.
Planks are not the most magnificent core exercise out there – I promise there are many more! But these four variations will definitely take your planking to new levels!