Planks are wonderful.
They are for the most part low impact. They offer total body possibilities. They allow you to take exercise anywhere and everywhere without equipment. They help build strength, but also posture and balance.
I decided to play around with your average plank and came up with a fun planking workout that was somewhat new to me, and also challenging enough that I was sore the next day from the exercises. These planks however, used added equipment. I did use a step/box and a set of dumbbells.
1. Decline plank with alternate kick through— The goal with these were to keep a tight form, and push my “kick” as close to my opposite elbow I could get without twisting my hips to the point where my core was no longer strong and activated.
2. Plank with front raise— Holding the plank position while lifting a dumbbell forward until arm was straight and parallel to the floor. Then alternate sides.
3. Plank twists— The one exercise in this workout I’ve done many times. From the forearms, twist just enough as you dip your hips. You should feel these in your obliques.
4. Reverse plank with leg lifts— Reverse planks are challenging without adding any extra movements to them. The position of hands are my biggest struggle with these, as after a while, my wrists get tired and achy. From the full reverse plank, lift legs and alternate sides. I noticed that with each leg lift, I had to focus on keeping my glutes and core tight or my hips wanted to fall and break form.
5. Plank with open and push— similar to the front raise, but opening up your body just enough to push overhead rather than up and forward. Again, keep form tight and don’t allow wobbly twists.
All these exercises were done in controlled movements. Never try to go so fast that you sacrifice form in order to finish the reps faster. Each exercise ranged between 12-20 reps. Do 3-5 rounds.