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8 Plank Variations That Will Make Your Abs Scream

Not your granddaddy's planks.

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Core strength is awesome but a zillion crunches are not.

Fox / Via reddit.com

Most exercises for your abs, like sit-ups and crunches, can get kinda monotonous. And when you spend a lot of time doing them, your fitness is bound to plateau.

Planks, on the other hand, come with a ton of variations so you can be sure you're challenging yourself every time you exercise.

So, BuzzFeed Health rounded up eight plank variations that will give your abs a helluva workout.

These plank variations are awesome for anyone. But they were specifically selected by running coach Jason Fitzgerald of Strength Running, because core strength is so damn important for runners, both for minimizing injury and maintaining good running form.

(And by the way, if you're interested in a totally do-able running challenge with emails that tell you exactly how to work out, check out BuzzFeed's 4 Weeks To 5K Challenge!)

To add some core-burn to your regular workout, pick any three of these plank variations and do all three, resting for a minute between each one.

ABC / Via whatshouldwetrex.tumblr.com

• Start out by doing each plank for 30 seconds, but you can increase or decrease that depending on your skill level.

• Always stop when you notice your form start to fall apart. Good form is the most important thing here, both for getting the most out of the moves and for minimizing chance of injury.

• Make sure you mix it up and try out new ones from time to time.

For general instructions for performing planks properly, scroll to the end of the post!

2. Plank with side arm raise

Caity Arthur / BuzzFeed

In a push-up position, raise one arm so that it's parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your torso. Hold the position for 1-2 seconds and return to the start position. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

3. Plank with front arm raise

Caity Arthur / BuzzFeed

In a push-up position, raise one arm so that it's parallel to the floor. Hold the position for 1-2 seconds and return to the start position. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

4. Forearm plank to push-up

Caity Arthur / BuzzFeed

Start in a push-up position. Lower to forearm plank position on one side, then the other. Return to the start position and repeat.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

5. Spiderman plank

Caity Arthur / BuzzFeed

Start in a push-up position. Bring your left knee to just outside your left elbow and hold it for 1-2 seconds. Return to the start position. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

6. Alternating leg lift forearm plank

Caity Arthur / BuzzFeed

Start in a forearm plank position. Raise your left leg to hip height or just above hip height. Hold for 1-2 seconds and return to the start position. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

7. Plank with shoulder taps

Caity Arthur / BuzzFeed

Start in a push-up position. Without shifting your weight, lightly tap your left shoulder with your right hand. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.

Repeat for 30 seconds.

And here are a few more tips for proper plank-ing:

DO

• Keep your hands / elbows stacked directly under your shoulders.

• Keep your feet about hip-width apart, or, for better stability, wider.

• Engage your glutes and abs as you do each movement.

- Maintain a neutral neck and straight back; your body should be in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.

DON'T

• Let your back arch.

• Let your hips sag or pike up.

• Round your upper back.

Thanks to Katie Dubrovenskaya of New York Health and Racquet Club for directing the shoot and to Shannon Rosenberg for modeling.

Clothing and sneakers (Supernova Tank, Ultra Tight, and Ultraboost X sneakers) provided by Adidas and available at adidas.com.

If you've ever wanted to run a 5K but never quite stuck with it, try BuzzFeed's 4 Weeks To 5K Challenge! It's the perfect way to prep for your first big run. Sign up here!



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