5 Ways to Spice up Your Plank Routine

Some say that for you to appreciate a full one minute of your life, you have to experience doing planks. While this all-versatile move may be difficult to execute for some, nobody can deny the benefits it brings–an improved core strength, stronger biceps, and a full appreciation of what you can do in one minute.

But just like any other exercise routine, your body can get used to planks after a while of doing it. Variation in your program is essential to challenge your body and push it to the limit. Otherwise, your muscles would remain just as it is, or worse, you won’t burn calories as much.

Thankfully, a simple move can make all the difference from your usual planks. Here are five different plank variations you can do to ramp up your next session:

Raised leg plank

From the elbow plank (a plank wherein you have to balance yourself on your elbows and forearms), raise one leg for about 20-30 seconds on the first try. The raised leg must be straight and supported by the glutes and hamstrings alone to maximize the benefits of the exercise. Repeat with the other leg.

Raise the bar!

For an added challenge, do the same procedure, this time with your arms. Raise one arm for 20-30 seconds, then do the same with the other.

Side Plank

Some of you may have already done this variation, so you might want to try the “Raise the bar!” portion for this one.

You can start from either the elbow plank or the full plank (a plank where you balance yourself on your hands). Then, twist your body until you face right, with your right hand or forearm as your support. Put your left arm on your hip or extend it towards the sky. Your legs and feet must be stacked together. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then do the same on your left side.

Raise the bar!

Once you get over the difficulty of this variation, ramp it up by raising the top arm and leg up, hold it for 5 seconds, then slowly bring it down. Do this for ten reps, then switch to the other side.

Mountain climbers

This could be a good warmup for those who plan to hike for the coming week or month. From the full plank, raise your right knee until it reaches your chest. Slowly bring it down, then let your left knee do the same. Do this for ten reps or until a minute is up.

Raise the bar!

The faster, the better. Just make sure that you are maintaining the proper form (shoulders down, limbs straight, butt down, core tight). Aim to have a minimum number of reps for one minute, then raise it as time goes by.

Reverse Plank

This variation is especially helpful in activating hidden arm muscles. You will basically do the full plank in reverse or with your body facing the ceiling (or the sky if you’re doing it outdoors).

First, sit on the ground with your legs extended and your hands on either side of your body. Then, slowly raise your hips as high as you go. Straighten your limbs, then hold the position for 20-30 seconds.

Raise the bar!

Make this variation more difficult by doing the raised leg or arm plank in this position!

Climbing plank

Some say that this move reveals how strong your arm muscles are. You start on an elbow plank, then carefully straighten one arm after the other until you reach the full plank position. After that, go back to the elbow plank by bending your forearm one at a time. Repeat for ten reps or until you finish a minute.

Raise the bar!

In the same manner as mountain climbers, you can set a minimum amount of reps that you have to finish in one minute then raise it as soon as you feel that your body can do it.

With these new plank variations injected in your routine, you can now say goodbye to the same old boring strokes, and embrace a tighter core and a better future for you and your body.

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Wendy has made a career from blogging about the newest fitness trends in the market. From New Mexico, Wendy has been passionate about health since the early age of 11, when she competed in local state Gymnastic competitions.

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