The plank exercise, also known as the plank pose or side plank pose in yoga, is an isometric core strength exercise that targets a number of muscles in your abdominals and back.
If you’ve been looking for plank challenge ideas for your New Year’s workout plan, we’ve rounded up the best plank exercises and plank challenge tips to get you started.
The plank exercise is an isometric core strength exercise that targets a number of muscles in your abdominals and back.
1. L-Plank (30 seconds)
The plank pose is one of the best exercises for improving core stability, which means it’s great for protecting the spine from injury during other activities that involve twisting or bending.
An easy way to work up to this exercise is to start a plank pose with your knees on the ground.
2. Reverse Plank (30 seconds)
This plank exercise will also work your lower back, butt and hamstrings, making it a full body exercise that gets your heart rate up while strengthening your core muscles for improved sports performance. To get into reverse plank position, lie on your stomach and press up onto your forearms.
3. Side Plank (30 seconds per side)
Lying on one side, prop yourself up with your forearm under your shoulder and feet stacked on top of each other. You can also do plank pose from elbow or wrist instead of the more traditional forearm. If you struggle with plank pose, you can modify the plank by putting your knees on the ground.
4. Forearm Plank (30 seconds)
This plank exercise will be a little more challenging for those with limited core strength or tight hips, but it’s still a great option to include in plank challenge ideas. If you’re just beginning to practice plank pose, you can do plank from your elbows instead of your hands.
5. Elbow Plank (30 seconds)
6. Side plank with leg lift (15 per side)
Keep that perfect plank form going by imagining a line running down the center of your body and up the spine to your ears – don’t let that line droop!
You should feel like you’re pulling your belly button to the floor as you plank, and use that as a guide for maintaining proper plank form.
7. Forearm Plank With Leg Lift (15 per side)
8. T-Plank (30 seconds total time: 15 seconds on each side)
For those without the plank challenge equipment, you can still plank with just your own body weight. You can even plank your knees on the ground or in a push up position if that’s easier. To plank from your hands instead of forearms, keep a straight line going from your shoulders to hips and use this as a guide for plank form.
9. Plank Up Downs (20 reps)
Perform plank poses from your knees if it’s easier, but still think about pulling your belly button to the ground to maintain that straight plank line throughout plank challenge exercises.
This plank challenge is a great way to add plank exercises into your New Year’s workout plan and there are plenty of plank pose variations to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for. Even if you can only plank for 10 seconds, it’s better than doing nothing at all!