This 3-Move Plank Workout Will Fire Up Your Body From Head To Toe
No equipment? No problem. This plank workout will give you a full-body burn in 15 minutes. For it, all you’ll need to know is how to do a plank, making it great for beginners or advanced exercisers, alike.
I’ve devised the workout below to be performed as a circuit, meaning you’ll do all the reps for the first move, then continue to the next without taking a break. When you get through the final move, you’ll have a chance to rest, then start all over from the top again and continue with this pattern until you’ve completed all the sets. By doing so, not only will you strengthen and sculpt your total body, but you’ll also get in some cardio too. (Win-win!)
This is a total-body workout, but while you’ll be toning from head to toe, especially your abs and low back. Your core is your centre of gravity and responsible for making your entire body move more efficiently, which is essential for meeting your fitness goals and avoiding injuries along the way.
One of the reason’s I love this move so much is because there are so many plank variations that you won’t have to worry about getting bored. For this workout, you’ll be doing the following moves, but don’t worry, there’s a full break down of how to do each below: side plank leg extenders, table-top leg lifts, plank walks, army crawls, inchworms, plank hip lifts to knee drives.
Before you jump in, let’s go over best practices when it comes to planking. For starters, any time you’re in a plank position, you want to maintain a flat back (not arched or rounded!). Make sure your glutes and core are engaged, chin is in neutral (not tucked) and wrists or elbows (depending on the plank) are stacked directly beneath your shoulders.
Time: 15 minutes
Equipment: set of gliders, hand towel, or two paper plates.
Good for: total body, cardio
Instructions: Choose three moves from the list below. Complete all reps for each, and then continue on to the next one immediately. After completing all three, rest for 60 seconds, then start over again from the top. Do four sets total (alternating sides for single-leg exercises with every set). If you do the movements below at least three times a week consistently, you’ll start to see some serious results when it comes to core stability and total body strength.
1. Side Plank Leg Extenders
How to: Start in a forearm side plank with right forearm parallel to top of mat, left arm extended overhead so bicep is by ear, legs straight, and left foot on top of right. Engage abs, squeeze glutes, keep hips forward, and drive left knee toward chest while bringing left arm down to touch toes with fingertips. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 10.
2. Table Top Leg Lifts
How to: Start on all fours with wrists under shoulders, knees under hips and lifted off the floor so hips are in line with shoulders, and toes tucked. Keep back flat while extending right arm and left leg to straight, parallel to the mat. Return to start and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Do 10.
3. Plank Hip Lift Knee Drives
How to: Start in a high plank. Lift hips up in the air, shifting weight into legs, then pick left foot up off the floor and drive knee toward chest. Return to a plank and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Do 10.
4. Plank Walk
How to: Start in a high plank position. Pick up right hand and foot and move them a few inches to the right, followed by left hand a foot. Now reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Continue walking side to side for 30 seconds.
5. Army Crawl
How to: Start in a forearm plank with legs together and toes on glider, towel, or paper plates. While keeping hips level the whole time, pick up right forearm and move it a few inches forward, followed by left. Repeat two more times, then reverse the movement to return to start. Continue crawling back and forth for 30 seconds.
How to: Start standing at back of mat with feet under hips and hands at sides. Fold forward at waist and bring palms to mat, then begin walking hands forward, stopping in a high plank position with wrists under shoulders and legs extended to straight. Reverse the movement to return to start. Continue walking forward and back for 30 seconds.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com