May 24, 2024

Ready to Challenge Your Plank?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Plank with Shoulder Tap

Begin in a plank on your hands and toes. Next, keeping your body still, lift your right hand and touch your left shoulder, then return to the floor. Repeat, lifting your left hand and touch your right shoulder, return your hand to the floor. Do 10 reps, slow and controlled.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Take Your Plank for a Walk

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Plank Walk!

Once you’ve mastered the plank, add a total core “moving” challenge. Here’s how: Begin in a pushup position, with your arms and legs straight and your torso straight.  Keeping your feet in place, walk your hands to your right 3-6 times. Maintaining proper posture and spinal alignment, walk your hands to your left 3-6 times to complete 1 rep. Drop your knees to the floor and rest 10 seconds. Repeat 3-5 total cycles.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Challenge Your Plank!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Bird Dog Plank!

Begin in a plank on your hands and toes. Keeping your torso stable, lift your right hand and left foot about six inches off the floor. Without rocking your torso, lower your right hand and left foot and immediately lift your left hand and right foot. Repeat until 10 reps total are complete. The key is not how high you’re able to lift your hand and foot, but maintaining proper alignment and form when transferring from side to side.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.


Up for an Ab Challenge?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Plank with Knee Ups!

Up for an ab challenge? Take your planks up a notch by adding this simple move. Begin in a regular front plank. Next, bend your right knee and bring your knee toward your chest. Maintain neutral spine and pull your belly button up. Then, extend your right knee, kicking your leg straight out behind you. Repeat 10 times, then release to your front plank. Next, repeat the same motion bending your left knee toward your chest. Do 10 times. Control your entire range of motion and maintain proper form.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Progress your Ab Plank

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Side Plank

Lie on your right side on the floor. Place your right hand on the floor directly below your shoulder. Place the outside of your right foot on the floor, with both legs straight. Lift your body up off the floor and hold your body straight in a side plank position. Release by dropping your hips to the floor. Repeat with your left hand and left foot on the floor. Lift your body up and hold the side plank position. Begin with a ten second hold on each side. Breathe through each plank, hold your belly button in tight and maintain proper spinal alignment.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

To challenge your abs…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Elbow to Knee Plank

Want to challenge your abs? Add this exercise into your workout! Begin in a plank on your hands and toes. Lift your right foot up off the floor, next bend your right knee and bring it toward your right elbow. Extend your right knee to and return your foot to the floor to complete one rep. Next lift your left foot up off the floor, bend your left knee and bring it toward your left elbow to complete two reps. Repeat until 10 reps are performed.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Planks Explained by Gen Levrant

Make your planks functional: 5 variations to try

I could go on for pages about why and how a standard plank will not give you a flat stomach. Holding your abdominal muscles isometrically for as long as you can is not functional. Fortunately, there are ways to tweak the plank to make it functional. For a muscle to produce a powerful contraction, it first needs to lengthen. This does not happen in the plank, so here are five variations to ensure it does. (Please consult with a fitness professional if you are pregnant, new to exercise or unsure of proper and safe technique. And as always, seek medical clearance from you doctor prior to beginning any exercises.)

Knee to chest: start in a standard plank position: elbows bent, forearms resting on the floor and abdominal muscles braced. Use your abs to pull one knee towards your chest, bending it at a right angle and exhaling. Repeat with other knee for 10-20 reps.

Tilting hips: start in a press up position. Keeping your feet together, tilt your right hip to the side as if trying to point it to the ceiling. The same side elbow will bend a little. Go back to the start and repeat with the other hip for a total of 10-20 reps

Reverse plank: start on all fours facing the ceiling with your elbows straight, knees bent and bottom off floor. Reach to  the ceiling with one hand, raising your pelvis to the ceiling and engaging your gluts. Dip your elbow and repeat for 10-15 reps before switching arms.

Up & under: start in a press up position, open one arm up as far as it goes. Bring it down under the body, reaching as far as you can before replacing it back at the start. Repeat with the other arm for 20 reps (10 each arm.)

Foot crossovers: start in standard plank. Cross one foot over the other to touch the floor outside of it, and bring back to the start. Repeat for 30 secs before switching legs.

Take a look at all moves demonstrated on YouTube.

These will hit your abdominals in three planes of motion, which is how we are designed to move. They can be added on to one of your existing workout routines or performed alone.

Gen Levrant is an Advanced Personal Trainer and fat-loss specialist operating out of a private functional training studio in Southampton UK. For fitness tips, updates and further info: email Gen via Follow her on Twitter @PTGen, or via YouTube Channel