If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – in my opinion, the plank is THE best abdominal exercise. Our abdominal muscles aren’t just for show. The core impacts so much in our training and our everyday lives. Just as a home needs a solid foundation, our body needs a solid core. And we must start on the inside.
The core is divided into a stabilization and a movement system. We can easily believe that jumping into 500 crunches daily will give us a tightened stomach. Sure, crunches will strengthen the movement system of our abdominal muscles…but it won’t get you very far without a strong base. Having a strong stabilization system helps us to use our strength and power in other parts of the body more efficiently and effectively. It also prevents injury, improves posture, and draws the muscles in for a tighter look. Who doesn’t want that?
What is one way to challenge those inner core stabilization muscles? You guessed it! Planks! And luckily for all of us, a wide variety of planks exist to keep our bodies guessing – which keeps us challenged and motivated. Below, I have put together a few short videos that showcase some of my favorite plank variations. Enjoy!
Elbow Plank Variations
- elbow plank on knees (beginner plank)
- elbow plank
- hip dips in plank position
- rocking plank
- plank jacks
- up/down plank
Straight Arm Plank Variations
- straight arm plank
- straight arm plank with leg lift
- walking plank
- spiderman plank
- plank twist into side plank
Side Plank Variations
- side plank on knees (beginner)
- side plank
- side plank with hip dips
- side plank with oblique crunch
- side plank with oblique twist
- side plank with leg lift
Some other plank options include:
- reverse planks
- reverse planks with leg lifts
- plank with elbows on stability ball (move arms in small circles for added stability challenge!)
- plank with toes on stability ball
- plank with one arm dumbbell rows
Put a few together for a challenging core workout. Start building a solid foundation, flattening that stomach, and strengthening your body’s movement all in a few minutes.
Do you like planks? Which variation is your favorite? What’s the longest you’ve held a plank?