The plank: it’s simple and effective, and if you’re not using it in your workouts already, then you should start – it’s one of the best core exercises you’ll do. So if you’re looking for washboard abs, forget about crunches, the plank is where it’s at! And of course, you already know that abs are made in the kitchen, so diet is the other part of getting a toned midriff or sexy abs (if you want them!).
Even though the plank is simple, it doesn’t mean it’s easy, and it’s important to get the form right to avoid injury and get the most benefit.
Perfect Your Plank
If you want to see some examples of bad plank form you just need to head down to your local gym. Most people either drop their hips down too low, or raise them up too high. The result is that more stress is put on the lower back as opposed to the core, which is not what you want.
Your best friend for getting perfect plank form is the humble broomstick (or dowel). If it’s placed along your spine, it should touch 3 points: the back of your head, between the shoulder blades and your tail bone.
Similar to the hand plank above, the elbow plank adds in a bit more difficulty, but sticks pretty much to the basic form. Aim to hold it for 60 seconds before you move onto the next variation. If the straight leg version is too hard, you can do a kneeling variation until you’ve built up the core strength to do the straight leg version.
This is the first time we’ve seen this plank variation, but we love it! This variation (which we’ve decided to call the squeeze plank) sticks to the elbow plank form, but adds in a full-body isometric contraction, which means it’s a serious workout for your whole body from head to toe. Try it out and you’ll see how challenging it is!
Advanced Plank Variations
Here are a few more advanced plank variations for you.
That’s a wrap! Some awesome plank variations for you to build a rock-solid, sexy core… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are a ton of other plank variations out there.
What are your favorite plank variations? Let us know in the comments below!