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Monthly Workout: Plank Variations

Posted on: February 24, 2017 by Healthy Lives No Comments
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The Plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core. It builds isometric strength to help sculpt your waistline and improve your posture. And depending on the type of Plank you try, you can also engage your back, arms, shoulders, buttocks, and hamstrings.

Hold Times
Exercise Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Forearm Plank 30 sec 60 sec 90 sec
Straight arm Plank 20 sec 40 sec 80 sec
Side Plank 15 sec 30 sec 45 sec
Plank Jacks 15 sec 30 sec 45 sec
One Legged Plank 15 sec 15 sec 45 sec
Sets 3 3 3

 

Variations of a Plank:

Forearm Plank:

 

 

  1. Lie face down, legs extended, hip width apart
  2. Elbows directly under shoulders, hip-width apart
  3. Clasp your hands together
  4. Keep head in line with your backbone
  5. Eyes focused on the hands
  6. Raise your hips off the floor until your head, back, buttocks and legs are in a straight line
  7. Squeeze your shoulder blades so they lay flat on your back
  8. While holding the plank squeeze (contract) your abdominals pulling the bellybutton toward your backbone; squeeze your buttocks

Straight Arm Plank:

 

 

  1. Kneel on all fours with hands directly under shoulders
  2. Extend the legs placing them hip-width apart; balancing on hands and toes
  3. Keep head in line with your backbone
  4. Eyes focused straight down
  5. Squeeze your shoulder blades so they lay flat on your back
  6. While holding the plank, squeeze (contract) your abdominals which will pull the bellybutton toward your backbone; squeeze your buttocks
  7. Hold for the time duration

Side Plank:

 

 

 

  1. From plank position, rotate your body so you are balanced on your right hand and the side of your right foot
  2. Left foot is stacked on top of your right foot
  3. Raise your left arm up so arms are in a straight line, fingers pointed toward the sky
  4. Keep head in line with your backbone
  5. Eyes focused straight ahead
  6. Squeeze your shoulder blades so they lay flat on your back
  7. While holding the plank squeeze (contract) your abdominals pulling the bellybutton toward your backbone; squeeze your buttocks
  8. Imagine you have a big beach ball under your right side; press your torso up and away from the ball

Plank Jacks:

This is an advanced exercise. Be sure you have developed core strength by successfully completing the Straight Arm Plank, Side Plank, and One-Legged Plank at the intermediate level prior to adding plank jacks to your routine.

 

 

  1. Lie face down, legs extended, feet together
  2. Hands directly under shoulders, hip width apart
  3. Keep head in line with your backbone
  4. Eyes focused on the hands
  5. Raise your hips off the floor until your head, back, buttocks and legs are in a straight line
  6. Squeeze your shoulder blades so they lay flat on your back
  7. Push off the toes opening the legs to land with feet shoulder width apart, then push off the toes bringing the feet back together
  8. Repeat for the time duration

One-legged Planks:

This is an intermediate to advanced exercise that develops core strength as well as balance. Be sure you have successfully completed the Straight Arm Plank at the beginner level prior to adding this exercise to your workout.

 

 

  1. Start in Straight Arm Plank position
  2. Keep head in line with your backbone
  3. Eyes focused straight down
  4. Squeeze your shoulder blades so they lay flat on your back
  5. While holding the plank squeeze (contract) your abdominals which will pull the bellybutton toward your backbone; squeeze your buttocks
  6. Lift right foot off the floor keeping the leg straight
  7. Hold for the time span given
  8. Repeat with the left side

 

*Be sure to consult your physician before trying new exercise routines.

Healthy Lives

About Healthy Lives

Healthy Lives is a unique approach to corporate wellness that helps employers improve their employees’ health and productivity and reduce healthcare costs through an unparalleled combination of deep clinical expertise, personal service and comprehensive solutions.

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