11 Plank Variations You Should Be Doing
Today, I wanted to share with you 11 different plank variations that you've probably never heard of, or tried before.
When it comes to 'core training', many people are still in the dark ages. People still think doing sit-ups and crunches is the way to go!
Within the last 4 weeks, I have had several people ask me, "If I do sit-ups/crunches will that help me tone up, or get that 6-pack?"
The answer is a simple, "No".
Crunches and sit-ups are still being performed on a regular basis -- and people wonder why they aren't getting results.
It's because those exercises aren't effective!
What they are good for, is placing pressure on the cervical spine (neck joint) and the lower back discs. As illustrated in this article, HERE.
A more effective way to strengthen your midsection, is by performing planks and variations of them.
In fact, we want to show you 11 different variations that you can use, depending on your strength and ability level.
At Fulla Strength and Conditioning, we use planks on a weekly basis with all of our clients and have got some great results in doing so!
Before we go into the exercises, I want to quickly outline what core strength *ACTUALLY* is.
"Core strength is the ability to maintain a neutral spine (the natural curvature at the spine) without allowing movement at the torso/trunk, whilst there is movement, or load at the upper and/or lower extremities (arms and/or legs)."
What this means, is that your torso or 'trunk', should be able to hold a rigid position (no movement), while there is movement, or load elsewhere at your body.
Such exercises will be explored below, in our examples.
If that all makes sense to you, keep reading and you will find out why the plank is more beneficial and how you can challenge yourself with more advanced exercises and
variations to enhance your training and get better results.
Let's get into those 11 variations. They are in order of easiest to hardest.
*Please bare in mind, this is an individual response and has been represented in what we have tried with our clients. You may find some easier, or harder than others.*
1) Plank HOLD
2) Tall Plank HOLD
3) Plank w/Side taps
4) Tall plank w/Hand release
5) Plank w/Leg Raise
6) Tall Plank w/Chest tap
7) Plank get-ups
8) Side Plank HOLD
9) Side Plank w/Hip Lift
10) RKC Plank
11) Lateral Bag Drag
Ab crunches and sit-ups work 'just' your abs. The exercises we just listed above, work many more muscle groups.
- The more muscles you use, the more calories you burn.
- The more calories you burn, the more fat you burn.
Sounds pretty good, doesn't it!?
With pretty much most, if not all of these exercises, you are getting much more 'bang for your buck'. Meaning you get better results with a similar amount of effort being applied -- whilst also reducing your risk of injury!
There are plenty of variations and progressions/regressions now at your disposal to ensure you strengthen your midsection, lower back, shoulders and hips. All the areas that comprise 'the core'.
That sounds like a better alternative to straining the neck and irritating the lower back discs, wouldn't you agree!?
We'd love to hear your thoughts and get some feedback from what you think and if this has helped give you some new training ideas moving forwards. Get in touch with us if you benefited from this, or think we may have missed an exercise to put on the list :)
Until next time,
Do your planks.
DO YOU LIKE MY ARTICLES AND FITNESS TIPS?
I send out my weekly newsletter, 'Fitness Advice That Works In the Real World', every Tuesday to help people like you, lose fat, build strength and create results that last.
Check it out here.