We have no shortage of ideas on how to keep your workout sessions from getting stale. We’ve come up with routines inspired by your favorite TV shows, your relationship status and even your cat. But what about when the actual exercises are what’s boring you? The good news: That probably means you’re in pretty decent shape. The bad news: Tt probably also means you need to kick things up a notch.
Take the classic plank position, for example. Great for your core, hamstrings, glutes, balance and posture; not so great if you’re sick of holding still and staring at the ground. If you love the effects of a plank workout but want to make things more interesting, here are some ideas for how you can change it up and intensify the move.
1. Plank Shoulder Taps: Disrupting the stability of your plank will really make you zero in on tightening your core. Start up on your hands in a high plank, and then alternate picking up one hand at a time to touch your opposite shoulder. You’ll be tempted to let your hips rock side to side, but try to keep your body as controlled as possible to get the most out of the movement. Don’t go too quickly, and try to keep it up for one minute.
2. Plank Hip Dips: With this move, you do want to move your hips, but the motion should be slow and controlled. Start in a forearm plank, and slowly rotate to dip your hips to one side until you’re just above the ground. Come back to center, and then do the same thing on the other side. Repeat as many times as you can without losing your form.
3. Plank Jacks: Plank jacks are basically jumping jacks that get flipped horizontally, and also work your core. Start out in a plank position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your feet together behind you. Jump them apart to either side of your exercise mat, then together, and repeat. See if you can keep going continuously for 30 seconds at a time, and build from there.
4. Walking Plank: Don’t worry — you’re not actually taking your plank for a stroll down the street. We’re just going to add some more movement, to challenge your stability and put more focus on your arm muscles. Start in a high plank, then come down on your right forearm, followed by the left. Then, put your right hand on the ground, and push back up into your high plank. Get a rhythm going on that side for about 30 seconds, and then switch to leading with your left hand for the second set.
5. Plank Crunches: You might as well call this move “abs on abs on abs on abs.” Your plank is already working your core, but throwing crunches into the mix gives those muscles twice the workout while also giving you a major balance challenge. Start in a plank, and then lift one leg straight up off the ground behind you. Once you feel stable, raise your opposite hand straight out in front of you. If that’s feeling good, crunch your elbow to meet your knee underneath you, then stretch back out. Repeat for five reps on each side.
What are you favorite plank variations? Show us on Instagram and tag @BritandCo!