For the Love of Planks

Planks are one of our favorite exercises for both new and experienced fitness goers. You can work your core without any equipment no matter where you are.  Not only are planks easy to work into your daily routine, but they are one of the best moves to build muscles that protect your spine and prevent dreaded lower back pain.

KICK IT UP A NOTCH

Once you have conquered holding a plank for 60 seconds using proper form, it may be time to shake up your plank and make it a little more challenging.

Try these fun modifications to progress your plank!

1. UNSTABLE BASE Perform your plank using a stability ball or wobble board to force your core to engage even more to not only hold up your body weight, but to also remain balanced. 2. SPIDER PLANK Start in your standard plank, bring one knee up as close to the elbows as possible. Do 20 reps per knee. Be sure to keep you back steady and in a neutral position.  3. FOOT LIFT Start in your standard forearm plank position. Once stable, raise one foot and hold for 2 to 5 seconds. Repeat on the opposite foot, alternating each rep. Do 10 reps with each leg, or as long as you can hold the plank.  4. ARM REACH Start in a standard plank on your hands. Reach one arm out in front as far as possible and hold for 5 seconds. Alternate arms and perform 10 reps each. Focus on keeping your body stable without rotating or shifting weight throughout the repetitions. 5. FLOATING ARM-LEG This move will really challenge your core as it combines the foot lift and arm reach. From your plank, lift the opposite arm and leg and hold for 20 seconds. Return to the starting plank position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

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