As talked about a couple weeks ago, planking is one of the most beneficial ways to increase core stability and strength as well as one of the fastest ways. The original plank is a great workout, and now that you have been performing it for a few weeks it may be time to progress! Once mastered it can take awhile before you feel that core burn, when you reach the level of holding a plank for multiple minutes, its time to progress into more difficult variations of the plank. There are many different ways in which you can make the plank exercise more difficult and challenging. One way is to plank on an unbalanced surface, by either placing your forearms on a bosu ball, or exercise ball, or having your feet on an unbalanced surface. Having to balance yourself will challenge the core in a different way and will make for an intense mind over matter battle that will force you to concentrate on keeping your core muscles activated.
Another variation of the plank that will challenge both your core as well as your arms and chest is the plank to push-up. The plank to push up is performed by establishing yourself in the original plank position, but adding a pushup like motion. You do this by going from your forearms, up to a straight arm position(similar to the up position of a push-up) and back down. This not only hits the core muscles, but also challenges the chest and arm muscles! One more variation of that plank that you can work on is the plank to hip raise. Once again you want to start in the original plank position, once there, raise your hips to the sky hold for one second and then return to the original plank position. The upward and downward motion mimics that of a pike, and hits the upper and middle area of the abdominal muscles. Try as many reps as you can and make it more challenging by holding the plank and upward position for longer periods of time. Practice and master
these versions of the plank and stay tuned for even more challenging variations of the plank to come in the upcoming weeks!