If you’re looking to improve your core strength, look no further than the plank. This simple exercise is amazing for helping you build a strong and toned stomach. But if you’ve been doing it for a while and you’re bored of the traditional plank, don’t worry – plenty of variations can keep your workouts interesting! From the side plank to the reverse plank, this article will give you an overview of some of the best plank variations to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Why Improving Your Core Strength Is Essential
When most people think of working out, they focus on exercises that target the arms, legs, and chest. However, neglecting the core muscles can lead to imbalances and injuries. The core muscles are responsible for stabilizing the spine and pelvis, and they help to transfer force from the lower body to the upper body. In other words, a strong core is essential for good posture, balance, and coordination. Additionally, research has shown that core exercises can help to improve mental clarity and focus. So if you want to improve your overall health and well-being, include some core-strengthening exercises in your workout routine.
The Side Plank
The side plank is a pose that offers a variety of benefits. It helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles, improve posture, and increase balance. It can also help to tone the arms, legs, and butt. The side plank is an intermediate pose, so it’s important to warm up with some easy poses first. To get into the side plank position, start in plank pose with your wrists beneath your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Then, rotate onto your right side so that your weight rests on your right forearm and the edge of your right foot. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides. With regular practice, you’ll soon be able to hold the side plank for extended periods.
The Walking Plank
The walking plank is another excellent plank variation to improve balance and coordination. To do the walking plank, start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Make sure your body is straight from your head to your heels. Then, keeping your core engaged, lift one foot off the ground and hold for a moment before setting it back down. Repeat with the other foot. The walking plank is a great exercise for beginners and can be made more challenging by increasing the distance between your feet or by adding weights. Not only will the walking plank help to improve your balance and coordination, but it will also strengthen your core and upper body. Give it a try!
The mountain climber plank variation is a more intense way to add a little extra challenge to your plank workout. This exercise works not only your core muscles but also your arms and shoulders. To do the mountain climber plank variation, start in a standard plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Then, bring one knee up toward your chest, keeping your hips level. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. You can make this exercise more challenging by adding a push-up after each knee raise. Or, for an even greater challenge, try doing the exercise on an unstable surface like a Bosu ball or balance disc. By adding instability to the equation, you’ll not only work your core muscles harder, but you’ll also help improve your balance and coordination.
Plank To Pike
The plank to pike is a great exercise for strengthening the core and shoulders while also getting a good stretch in the hamstrings. To do the plank to pike, start in a forearm plank position with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and press down through your forearms to lift your hips up into the air, coming into a downward dog position. From here, bend your knees and begin to walk your feet toward your hands. As you do this, allow your hips to drop between your arms as you enter a pike position. Return to the starting position and repeat.
If you want something different that will still engage your core give the reverse plank a try. To begin, sit on the ground with your legs extended and your palms flat on the ground behind you. Next, lift your hips off the ground so that your body forms straight from your head to your heels. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and your core engaged. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. For an added challenge, try lifting one leg off the ground for an additional 30 seconds. Reverse planks are a great way to improve strength and balance. They can also be performed anywhere, making them a convenient exercise for busy people on the go. Just be sure to practice good form to avoid injury.
The plank walkout is the final variation to try that will tone your arms and legs while also challenging your core. To do the exercise, start in a push-up position with your feet together. Slowly walk your hands forward until you are in a low plank position. Then, walk your hands back to the push-up position and repeat. You can make the exercise more challenging by placing your feet on an elevated surface or adding a jump at the end of the movement. Plank walkouts are a great way to add some variety to your workout routine and are especially helpful for those who need extra help with leg strength.
Give Some Of The Best Plank Variations A Try!
There you have it! These are just a few plank variations you can try to improve your core strength. Mix things up and challenge yourself with different exercises to avoid boredom and keep your body guessing. With creativity, you can turn the simple plank into an incredibly effective workout that will tone your entire body. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start planking!