What’s the first exercise comes to your mind when you start a workout? Is it plank or pushups? Even if it’s pushups, it starts with a plank, and that’s what makes plank a clichéd exercise. Well, it is surely effective, but very monotonous. Today, I will be sharing few plank variations that you should try, to get more out of regular planks.
The idea of doing plank variations is to add something different to our workout routine and at the same time adding a little bit of cardio. The plank variations I am about to allude are for intermediate level, so beginners make sure you are comfortable with regular planks first.
For the first exercise we will be doing jacks mixed with the plank, To do this:
- Get in the plank position, with hands below the shoulders and body in a straight line.
- Squeeze your buts and try to remain stable.
- Hop both feet at the same time as if you are doing jumping jacks(don’t move hands though).
- Return back to original plank position and now repeat.
Do this at least 20 times for 1 sets and try to do 3 sets or more. The same can be done with Elbow plank or you can just add pushups to make it more difficult.
Do you know: Plank is actually known as Phalakasana , it’s a yoga pose and has deep history behind it. So you can now imagine how old and significant this exercise or rather asana is.
2:Plank toe touches
This exercise is a fun variation of plank that you should try if you want to improve your flexibility, To do this:
- Start in plank position and this time push your hips higher(as if you are forming a triangle with your body).
- Keep your legs straight without bending.
- Now take your right hand and try to reach for the left toe.
- Return to the original position and repeat the same with the left hand and right toe(although order is not fixed)
- Every time you return to the plank position, make sure your full body is in straight a line.
This was just one repetition, try to do more and achieve for 3 sets. You can even add pushups instead of planks for more difficulty.
3:Plank leg lift
Plank leg lift(or raises) is very similar to leg raises, just this time you are in plank position, To do this:
- Start in plank position(any plank of your liking).
- Lift your leg & hold(make sure you don’t lose your balance).
- Bring down your leg slowly and repeat the same with another leg.
This exercise needs focus, if you lose your focus, you may lose balance or you may do it wrong and that won’t be helpful. Go for more than 3 sets.
Do you know: Plank not only targets your abs but also lats, hamstrings, quads, glutes, shoulder, biceps, triceps, spinal erectors. That makes the plank an all-rounder exercise.
4:Plank shoulder taps
This exercise is my personal favourite and I have done this variation the most. It can be done by:
- Start in plank position.
- Now bring your hand to the opposite shoulder.
- Suppose you are staring with the leg hand, bring it to the right shoulder.
- Repeat this with another hand and shoulder.
This exercise can be modified in several ways. You can just add pushups or you can keep just keep a bottle(or anything) and move it left-right, instead of tapping shoulders. Make sure you don’t shake too much. You need to first maintain a good form in regular planks before doing this.
5:Plank knee ins
Last but not the least is a plank variation that will require maximum effort. This exercise is fun, but also a bit strenuous, To do this:
- Start with the plank position(this is the last time I am asking you to be in a plank position).
- Now bring your one knee towards your chest(any knee of your liking).
- Return to the original position and bring another knee towards the chest this time.
If you are bringing your right knee, take it towards the left side, and do this same for another knee. You can even do it rapidly( which is called climbers) to add more cardio, or do it with elbow plank to make it gruelling. Try setting a timer for this and do it for 30 secs or more.
Do you know: 62 year old George Hood from USA has set a world record of longest possible plank for 8 hours 15 mins & 15 secs. That’s some insane amount of resilience.
In the end
These were few plank variations that I do(on a regular basis). I would never suggest any exercise which I don’t do or have never tried. I want workouts to be beneficial and fun at the same time. There are many such exercises which I refrain from doing due to complexity or certain other limitations. The exercises I suggested above are approachable & worth your time.
There are more than 50 variations of planks and today I shared 5 such easy to execute variations. Feel free to comment what’s your favourite plank variant and how often you do it. Also, subscribe for more such weekly content.
Until next time, stay healthy and remember to smile.