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One of the most beloved (and hated) exercises ever is an exercise called the Plank. I’m sure you know what it is- holding yourself prone via your elbows and toes for a prescribed period of time.
I’ve done the plank twice so far this week, and its cousins: side plank, plank to pushup, and stiff arm plank. I’m going to have to work in the army crawl plank this week as well.
I’m scheduled for a mud run on August 18, which I’m excited for- it’ll be my first, and a great way to end the summer season workout-wise. Mud runs are known for their obstacle courses, which require a lot of upper body, lower body, and core strength to accomplish. A well-known part of this is crawling through the mud. I want to have fun crawling through that, not thinking “oh my gosh I want this to be over with because my abs can’t take it anymore!”
Second, the reason I called this post “Enter the Plank”: the one described above isn’t the only plank out there. There are so many variations that make it fun to play with it (ie the plank’s cousins). I wanted to see if I could compile a great list of all the plank options out there. If you know one that you don’t see listed, feel free to add it in the comments!
Isometric Plank Variations
Non-Isometric/Movement Oriented Plank Variations
My best planking tip is to get your ab muscles to activate as much as possible. Have a partner (or yourself) tap on your stomach once you’re in the plank position, until you feel them tighten up. Also, I tuck my hips slightly under- it helps keep my back from sagging (one of the mortal sins of planking is having a sagging back!).
What is your favorite Plank variation? Have you tried all the above?
Apparently there’s a 5-minute plank workout floating around the Inter-Webs; I had my hands on it once but have since lost it. Pretty much it involves holding several variations of the plank for a certain period of time until you hit 5 minutes, without losing the tension on the ab muscles. Crazy!