10 Plank Variations For A Stronger Core

We've all heard that having a strong core is incredibly important. A strong core can help prevent injuries, help prevent back pain, help improve your posture, help protect your organs, and a whole bunch of other things. Planks are by far one of the best ways to strengthen your core. While crunches will only work one specific part of your abs at a time, doing planks correctly will work the entire core for the whole length of the exercise. So today I thought I would share a few variations on a typical plank to help change up your workout routine and keep planks interesting.

- Forearm Plank - This is your typical plank, down on your forearms. Make sure your feet are hip distance apart and that your body is flat (make sure your hips aren't raised making a tent shape).
- High Plank - This is another fairly typical plank, instead of being on your forearms you'll be up in a push up position with your arms extended. Again, make sure your body is flat and that you do not hyper extend your arms.
- Sliding Plank - I posted about this plank variation a little while ago because I honestly think its the best varitation out there. Start in a regular forearm plank with sliding disks or a towel underneath your feet. Slowly slide backwards, so your elbows do not make a 90° angle with your forearms anymore. Then using only your core, slide yourself back into the starting position.
- Side Plank - To work your obliques, the side plank is perfect. Start in a regular forearm plank and then bring your feet together so they're touching. Extend your right arm up into the air and rotate until you are facing the right side. Repeat on the left side.
- Walking Plank - Start in a high plank with your feet hip distance apart. Take a step out with your right arm and right leg at the same time and then step your left arm and left leg in to come back into a regular plank. Continue 'walking' in one direction and then repeat to the other direction.
- Raised Arm Plank - Starting in a forearm plank, raise your right arm until it is parallel to the ground. Replace your arm and raise the left arm. Make sure not to shift your too much when you raise each arm.
- Raised Arm + Leg Plank - Starting in a forearm plank, raise your right arm and your left leg (simultaneously) until they are both parallel to the ground. Repeat on the other side. Again, make sure not to shift your weight too much as you raise each arm/leg.
- Knee Cross Plank - Start in a high plank with your arms extended. Pick up your right leg and bring your knee across your body until it touches (or almost touches) the inside of your left elbow. Replace your leg and repeat on the other side.
- Hip Dip Planks - Start in a forearm plank. Dip your right down until it just barely touches the ground. Come back to your starting position (making sure to keep your hips in line with your body and not in a tent) and repeat on the left side. Twist a little as you do this, but make sure you're focusing all your attention on your core.
- Plank Jacks - Start in a forearm plank and jump both feet out (they should be wider than hip distance). Jump your feet back in to your starting position and repeat. It should look like you are doing horizontal jumping jacks with your feet.

So these are some of my favorite variations on planks - they're all super effective and super fun (I mean as fun as planks can be). I find that switching up which type of plank I do helps keep me interested. Comment below any of your favorites, I would love to check them out!



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