Doing planks every day is so beneficial for the body. They are one of the best exercises you can do for your whole body, especially your core. But did you know there are various plank positions you can do that will be a game changer for your workout?
The most common way of doing a plank is on your forearms. All you do is place your forearms on a mat with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Your arms should be parallel to your body about shoulder-width apart. Some people may choose to do this standard form on their palms instead of the forearm. If you have any wrist injuries or discomfort you should not plank on your palms. You can make this form more difficult by rocking forward and backward on your toes.
Many people are unaware of the various plank positions that are extremely beneficial for you but can also be very challenging. Before we get into all the variations, remember form is key to any plank, so make sure you are doing them correctly. You can injure yourself if your form is off, especially in the positions we are going to discuss.
Vasisthasana or Side Plank pose helps to keep you in the present moment in this challenging balance that works on strengthening your shoulders, arms and wrists #ThePrivateYogi pic.twitter.com/Pbp12dn6nl— The Private Yogi (@theprivateyogi) August 2, 2018
A side plank may sound easy, but it is not. Start in the standard plank position, both forearm and palm will work, and then turn to one side, placing your free arm either on your side or in the air. If you are more advanced you can lift the top leg as well. This will force your core to work even harder. For those who want even more difficulty, you can do side toe touches in this position, by touching your free hand to your raised foot or even touching your knee to your elbow. Again, start out with side plank before you go too crazy, if your balance if off, you will get hurt.
Plank up-downs are one of the best exercises around. It may not seem hard at first, but after about 10 seconds you will be exhausted. Start in the forearm plank position. Lift the right arm up and place the palm of your hand where the forearm was laying. Repeat on the left side, so you are now in a palm plank. Then put the right arm back down to forearm plank position, then do the same with the left arm. Repeat this for 20 to 30 seconds doing each move quickly.
Another plank position that will get your heart pumping is plank jacks. The move is exactly how it sounds. You begin in standard plank position and move your feet as if you are doing jumping jacks. The next move requires you to start in the classic palm position plank. Once in position, bring your right knee towards the right elbow creating a 90-degree angle with the leg. It is recommended you look back at your leg as it is moving to help your core. Repeat the move on the left side.
If you thought the plank positions we have talked about so far were tough, you haven't seen anything yet. Next up is the one-legged plank, where you bring one of your legs up in the air and hold. This same moves can also be done for the one arm plank by lifting one arm in the air and holding. Both the one leg and one arm moves should be done equally with each leg or arm. If you really want to push yourself, you can do the Bird Dog Plank, which is when you lift the opposite arm, and leg up in the air then hold.
Here's a very tough long lever quadruped bird dog plank that involves anti-extension, anti-rotation, core stabilization, postural control, symmetry, full body motor control, and head to toe strength. Here's how to program it. https://t.co/VzouWDrEQV #strongwomen #workouts pic.twitter.com/P7Z97sqDLO— Joel Seedman (@SeedmanJoel) July 22, 2018
Plank walk will get your whole body burning. Start in the standard palm position step to the right as far as you can go, then step to the left to get back to the point in the room where you began. It is literally walking your body while in a plank. When you are done doing the plank walk, try plank thrusters. This move starts in the same position, but then you jump your feet forward into your body and back again.
Two of the final positions we recommend are going to make your core burn. Plank wall is where you place your feet up against the wall. Your arms can be either forearm position or palm position. Last but not least are plank twisters, and these are a doozy. For this move, you have to be on your forearms. Rotate your hips from one side to the other attempting to touch the side of your hip to the floor. It is important you take your time with plank twisters so ensure you are moving your hips correctly.
All of the moves we mentioned are a great way to mix up your everyday planking, so test them all out and find the ones that work best for you. Do you have a favorite plank exercise that we did not mention?