So why are planks so great? Each move shifts from your center of gravity and forces the muscles in the abdominal, arms, back, and glutes to stabilize in the body. Trainers Stacey Lei Krauss who is the creator of a plank infused cardio fitness program called the Willpower Method, which contains different type of variations of the standard plank position.
To start, all you need is a clear space on the ground. Complete the whole cycle three time every week, take 30 seconds between each exercise to roll your wrist and shoulders and you”ll get stronger muscles and you’ll be toned without putting a finger on a set of weights.
(A) Begin on all fours, with hands directly under shoulders, knees and feet hip-distance apart and fingers spread out. If you’re a beginner, rest on your forearms instead. (This also applies to all subsequent exercises.)
(B) Tuck toes underneath feet so that all 10 toes lie flat. Extend legs and push up hips so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to heels. Draw in your abs, squeeze your glutes, and keep your head in a neutral position that’s in line with your spine. Hold for 30 seconds.
Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
(A) Start in the standard plank position.
(B) Raise your right leg about three inches off the ground, point your toes out and keep your leg straight. Make sure to keep your torso still and carefully and quickly move your leg up and down 5 times, firm your glutes, hamstrings and quads. Go back to the starting position. This is one repetition. Repeat this 9 more times and switch to your other foot and do it 10 times.
(A) Begin in standard plank position.
(B) With your abs engaged, rotate your right shoulder and hip up toward the ceiling in one fluid movement, twisting your feet so that the inside of your right foot and the outside of your left foot rest on the floor. Extend your arm so that it’s pointing toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position. Repeat four times, then switch sides and do five more.
Targets: Back muscles and triceps.
(A) Begin in a modified version of the standard plank position, placing your feet several inches wider than hip-distance apart and your hands underneath your chest. Turn your hands slightly toward each other so that your thumbs and index fingers touch to form an upside-down heart.
(B) Use your toes to push your body forward so that the center of your chest aligns over the heart formed by your hands. Keep your chest, back, and triceps engaged and hold for 30 seconds