10 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

3. Plank with opposite limb extension

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

Adopt the starting position used for the standard plank, and then lift up your arm and leg on opposite sides of your body. You should do it in a such way that both your shoulders and hips do not break the straight line of your body. The complexity of this variant is found in the need to not only increase the load on your arms, but also in the need to maintain your balance and ensure that your whole body remains in a straight line.

4. Elbow plank with arm/leg lift

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

Challenge your balance. From an elbow plank, lift your right leg up and hold. Lower down. Repeat with left leg. Do the same for your arms with both legs on the ground.

5. Elbow side plank

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

During this plank exercise, your body should form a straight line and your abs should be tensed, with your upper arm placed either on your waist or pointing upwards. Be careful to make sure your hips do not sag down. Your legs should either be placed one on top of the other or with one in front.

6. Standard side plank

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

From plank position, press your right hand into a mat and turn your body so your weight is on the outer edge of your right foot; stack your left foot on top. Imagine you have a big beach ball under your right side; press your torso up and away from the ball, extending your left arm with fingers pointed toward the sky. Tighten your lower-ab muscles and brace your entire core. Hold for 60 seconds, then return to plank position and repeat on the left side; that’s one rep. Do three reps. This variant helps develop the external and internal muscles of the abdomen, the external vastus and gluteus medius muscle.

7. Side plank with twist

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

Lie on your right side with forearm directly under shoulder, hand perpendicular to your body, and legs stacked. Engage your abs and the right side of your waist, lifting your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to feet. Extend your left arm toward the sky, staying engaged through your core. Now scoop your left arm in front of your body and reach under the space between your chest and the ground, twisting only from the waist up. Come back up; repeat four times, then lower body to the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.

8. Back plank

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

Place your hands under your shoulders, with the back of your hands directed towards your heels. Point your toes and push out your pelvis. At the same time you should look upwards and be careful to keep your back straight.

9. Straight-arm back plank with bent legs

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

Take care to keep your shoulders, hips and back in a straight line. The only difference with the previous variant is that now you need to bend your legs at the knee. Do not lower your hips or throw back your head.

10. The dolphin plank

20 Superbly Effective Ways to Do Plank Exercises

Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Lower your elbows to the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your forearms parallel to each other and to the side edges of your mat. Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line. Align your heels over your toes. Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. If your butt sticks up in the air, realign your body so your shoulders are directly above your elbows. Contract your abdominals and draw your pelvic floor muscles toward your spine. Keep your head in line with your spine. Broaden across your shoulder blades and collarbone. Gaze between your hands, or toward the top edge of your mat. Press the front of your thighs (quadriceps) up toward the ceiling while lengthening your tailbone toward your heels. Hold the pose while breathing smoothly for five breaths. Advanced practitioners and those using the pose to build stamina can hold for up to five minutes. To release the pose, slowly lower onto your knees. This variant of exercise works your back muscles and shoulders.

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