Plank…sounds painful, right?
Well it isn’t, but it’s not easy. It is worth the effort, however. In fact, planks offer one of the best forms of strength training to help you become fit.
Plank Pose – The most traditional of them all, this pose requires that you balance on your elbows and toes while keeping your body in a straight line. You can think of it as the position which is a precursor to a push-up. While you are here, pull in your belly button towards your spine. Keep your back from arching by lifting your hips a little higher in the air. Don’t worry, the shaking will stop as you build stronger muscles.
Plank Pose Leg Lift – Variation of the plank pose that adds a new challenge: Lifting one of your legs up in the air while balancing your body with the other. The best idea is to lift your leg at the moment you are pulling your belly button in. For an added physical benefit, squeeze your glute muscles while the leg is lifted. Return to the plank pose, and repeat for the other leg. Do 5-8 sets on each side.
Plank Pose Twist – Best for straightening both oblique and abdominal muscles. From the plank pose, lift your right leg, bend the knee, twist the trunk and reach the knee hip. Repeat for the left side once you have returned to the original plank pose.
Side Plank – A little different. Lie on your side and put your right elbow on the ground. Put the left arm on your side, and lift yourself up to form a plank. This targets the back and hip muscles, as well as the abdomen. Hold, and repeat for the other side.
Stability Ball Plank – Use a stability ball to intensify your workout. The ball lets you support your body weight with your chest and arms both on the ball and with your toes on the floor. Then, try (slowly!) to lift your chest way from the ball. This adds support to your upperbody. While keeping your back straight, contract your abs. Once you workout the glitches, try to hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
Watch the video below for a Plank-a-Thon Pilates Workout