May 22, 2024

Power Up Your Plank

Fit Body:

Power up your plank by adding a side leg lift

Challenge your core with this move. Begin in a high plank, on your hands and toes, body straight. Then, lift your right foot off the ground about 2 inches. Keeping your torso and shoulders still, lift your right foot up toward your right hand, and then return to your starting position. Next, lift your left foot up off the floor. In a smooth, controlled motion move your left foot toward your left hand, and then return to your starting position. Do 6 total reps.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

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.

Strengthen Your Core with this Plank

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Plank to strengthen your entire core!

Strengthen your entire core with this plank variation. Here’s how to begin:

Begin in a plank with your toes and hands on the floor. Place your hands directly below your shoulders. Keep your belly button up. Next, lift your right hand and left foot up off the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then release. Next, lift your left hand and right foot up off the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds, and release. Repeat for 10 total repetitions.


*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