At Total Woman, we love the Plank which is why we’re focusing our June 30-day challenge on this move. Planks are one of the most effective moves that can strengthen and tone your tummy as well as shoulders, pectorals, biceps, triceps, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and more. Regularly including this exercise in your workout regimen can lead to improved posture, balance, flexibility, and sports performance.
Planks can be modified to challenge all the major muscle groups and stabilizers, improve strength, and prevent injury. Plank variations are almost endless, but for this challenge, we’re offering you nine basic variations. Use the calendar below as a guide for reps, duration, and variations.
Starting from pushup position, lower yourself until you are resting on your forearms. Keep forearms parallel to each other with hands flat on the ground, and elbows aligned under your shoulders and heels over toes. Hold your body in a straight line from the top of your head down to your heels. Hold your core in tight, being careful not to let your stomach sag or your back round out.
Forearm Side Plank
Starting in forearm plank position, bring your legs together until your heels touch. Lean to your left while lifting your right arm up toward the ceiling until you are balanced on your left hand and the outer edge of your left foot with your right foot stacked on top. Repeat on the other side.
Start in tabletop position, kneeling on the floor with hands directly below your shoulders. Lift your knees until you are supporting your weight on just your toes and hands. Spread your fingers to make a wide, stable base. Line up your shoulders over your hands and heels over toes. Hold your body in a straight line from the top of your head down to your heels. Hold your core in tight, being careful not to let your stomach sag or your back round out.
Single Leg High Plank
Start in high plank position. Lift one leg up behind you, keeping your body flat and both the extended and supporting legs straight. Repeat on the other side.
High Side Plank
Starting in high plank position, bring your legs together until your heels touch. Lean to your left while lifting your right arm up toward the ceiling until you are balanced on your left hand and the outer edge of your left foot with your right foot stacked on top. Repeat on the other side.
Start in the forearm plank position with your elbows shoulder-width apart. Press yourself up from the floor one arm at a time into a push-up, maintaining your body in a straight line. Slowly return to the starting plank position the same way, one arm at a time. Repeat the movement alternating sides.
Start in a high plank with your legs together. Jump your feet out as if you were doing a horizontal jumping jack. Jump feet back together. (If jumping is too tough, you can always start by walking your legs out one at a time. Just don’t try to add jumping jack arms; in a fight between you and gravity, gravity always wins.
High Plank with Shoulder Taps
From a high plank position, reach your right hand to touch your left shoulder. Put it back down and repeat with your left hand tapping your right shoulder. Do not let your hips sway side to side as you move.
Single Arm High Plank
The Single Arm High Plank starts in the traditional high plank position with arms fully extended and hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Slowly shift your body weight onto one hand, while gradually raising your opposite hand out high in front of you. Hold your position; slowly return your raised arm to traditional high plank position and alternate arms.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
Here’s how to join in on the fun: Like or Share our post on Facebook --OR-- tag @totalwomangym in a photo of yourself doing the challenge on Instagram to be entered into our drawing! One winner will be selected to receive a $50 Total Woman gift card.