Core training is about much more than flattening your belly and planks are a great alternative to doing a million crunches.
Planks are one of my favourite exercises because they can help improve your entire core strength and stability which (among other things) can protect against injury.
In fact, in a study about plank and side plank on injury rates in soccer players, the researchers found that “… prevention programs including strengthening exercises for core muscles tend to positively affect the injury rate.”
In this video, I demonstrate:
- Plank Arm Raises / Shoulder Taps
- Alternating Toe Taps
- Up-Down Plank
- Side Plank Rotations
- Straight Leg Raise (with Push-up)
- Mountain Climber
- High Plank Rotation (with push-up)
If you do these variations, planks don’t just work your core – they can work much more of your body. These plank variations require your arms, your legs, your chest, your glutes, your hips, your back, and all of your abdominal muscles.
You really can’t go wrong with doing these plank variations two or three times a week (as long as you have good form). Just make sure you maintain a straight line between your shoulders and ankles, keep your butt in line with your shoulders and hips, and make sure you aren’t collapsing your lower back. As soon as that starts to happen, take a break and come back to it later.
You may also be interested in some leg raises