Plank Variations...CHANGE IT UP

If you have trained with me or have followed me for a while, you know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE PLANKS!!! I incorporate them into every workout for both myself and my clients. Why? Because they have so many great benefits...

PLANKS
  • PLANKS strengthen just about every muscle in your body;
  • PLANKS improve your balance;
  • PLANKS improve your posture;
  • PLANKS have lots of variations so you never get bored!

I could keep going, but those are just a few of my favorites! Since many of you are familiar with "Regular Plank", I think it is time to change things up a bit and add some variety to those "regular planks". It is important to spice things up a bit because your muscles can get comfortable with the same routine again and again, which can cause the body to plateau. By adding variety, you keep those muscles guessing and you keep building muscle while still burning fat!

Here are few plank variations that I have been incorporating into my workouts: 

  • Plank with Lowered Knees: Hold regular plank for 1-Minute...Every 15 seconds lower your knees so that they are one inch off the ground and then hold for 15 seconds. Alternate between straight legs and bent knees until the full minute is complete.
Plank with Lowered Knees
  • Plank with Knee to Elbow: Hold regular plank for 1-Minute...at 30 seconds bring your right knee to touch your right elbow (more advanced try to reach your triceps). Bring it back to center and then bring your left knee to your left elbow. Repeat until the final 30 seconds are up.
Plank with Knee to Elbow
  • Plank with Raised Leg: Hold regular plank for one minute...for the first 30 seconds bring your right foot one inch off the ground. Lift your right leg a couple inches higher than your butt and slowly bring it down one inch off the ground. After the first 30 seconds are up, do the exact same movements for the left leg for 30 seconds. Remember to keep your toes flexed. 
Plank with Raised Leg
  • Side Plank with Leg Lift: Start in a regular side plank and hold for 30 seconds...after 30 seconds, lift your leg up, so that you look like a starfish, and then slowly lower back down to your left foot. Repeat that movement until the 30 seconds are up and then switch to your left side and repeat. 
Side Plank with Leg Lift
  • Side Plank with Leg Crunch: Start in a regular side plank and hold for 30 seconds...after 30 seconds, bring your right knee into your chest and then kick it straight back to starting position. Keep the toes flexed and repeat for the remaining 30 seconds. Once the minute is complete, switch to the left side and repeat. 
Side Plank with Leg Crunch
  • Side Plank with Twist: Start in regular side plank and hold for 30 seconds...after 30 seconds, bring your right hand behind your head, and then slowly twist so that you are almost parallel with the ground and then come back up. Repeat the movement until the 30 seconds are up and switch to do your left side. 
Side Plank with Twist

Have you tried any of these plank variations?

Do you plank? If so, which one is your favorite?