OK, we get it…planks are boring. Staring at the floor with the sweat dripping down your nose waiting for your timer to run down is as almost as exciting as visiting the in-laws.
If you’ve been living under a rock as of late, planks are isometric exercises used to strengthen and build endurance in the abdominals. They are typically performed either on your elbows and toes, on your side or even face up. They are normally held for time e.g. 30 to 60-seconds or performed in shorter timed-intervals with only a few seconds break e.g. 10-second holds with 2-second rest periods.
Planks are the new sit-ups for modern-day core training. People like numbers so instead of doing 300-500 sit-ups every night, they’ll form a statue-like creature on the floor next to their bed and be motionless for as long as possible. But, as with anything, we must apply the Principle of Progressive Overload to ensure continued progress. No one in their right mind wants to hold their planks longer and longer—thankfully, progressive overload can be applied by other means.
If you can nail a basic front plank, remove the boredom with these variations. Not only are they challenging, they will also add some spice to your ab routines.
Chose a few of each variation below and add 3-5 sets to your workouts. Perform each set for 60-seconds.
One of our favorite plank variations involves crawling. Traversing in a plank will blast your abs and your lungs.
Try the Flat Back Bear Crawl.
Go into a pushup plank. Bring one arm and the opposite leg forward to start crawling. Keep your back flat and keep your knees low – do not bring them higher than your hips otherwise you’ll push your hips upward and lose the “plank” effect. Lateral Bear Crawls are also awesome – in this variation, keep your knees straight and abduct your hips. See how far you can go in a minute.