Preparations for the summer are in full swing and we are all at the gym a little more often. If your goal is to work on the whole body, build strength and tone your muscles – variations of this exercise will be your best friend. If, on the other hand, you want to work on core strength that will greatly help you perform all the exercises with the weight – keep reading and you will not regret it.
Plank is one of the simplest, and at the same time, most effective exercises that activates the whole body with a focus on the core. In addition to being great for shaping torso muscles (read: sixpack), plank will help you strengthen your back, gluteus, tendons, arms and shoulders at the same time. You actually get a lot of gain for just 60 seconds of pain. Start with a basic plank on your palms or elbows, and then spice it up with these variations!
1. Side plank
This variation of the plank is great for shaping obliques as well as for strengthening core muscles.
How is the side plank performed?
1) Lie on one side of your body.
2) Place your elbow just below your shoulder and keep your palm on the floor in front of you.
3) Keeping your knees on the ground, place your feet on top of each other and lift your hips.
4) Try to put your hand on your side or raise it straight towards the ceiling.
5) Squeeze the gluteus and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
2. Star plank
If side plank is too simple, try doing a star plank! The position is similar to the side plank, but it is made more difficult by lifting the elbow to the palm of the hand and separating one leg from the floor upwards. This way you literally recreate the look of the star while toning your whole body.
3. Reverse plank
Another great variation of the plank is the reverse plank which will further activate the arm muscles, especially the triceps. The implementation is very simple:
1) Sit on a flat surface and stretch your legs in front of you.
2) Place your palms against the floor leveled with your hips and, engaging the muscles of your legs, back and gluteus, lift yourself off the floor.
3) If you want, you can do dips in this position – slightly bend your elbows and return them to the starting position.
4. Low-to-high plank
The combination of a plank on the elbows and a plank on the palms will ensure that you work on the arm muscles and introduce an element of movement into the, otherwise static, plank. Start the exercise in a low plank and lift one elbow at a time off the floor, leaning on your outstretched palms. Repeat this change 10 times and we promise you will feel a burn in your abdominal muscles and arm muscles!
You need very little space to do these exercises – if you have room to lie down, you also have room for plank! See you at your favorite gym,
Your Gyms4You team!