lifestyle

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Plank Variations That Work Your Abs Harder

Plank Variations That Work Your Abs Harder

I get a LOT of requests for exercises that target your core and help you to build strength, and planks can be really good for this. Plus you can do them almost anywhere and they can be really effective if you do them correctly! 
 
Planks might look easy, but it’s safe to say it takes a little bit of practice to nail them! What you also might not realise is there are lots of different variations to challenge you. Once you’ve got the standard technique down, (check out my blog for help with planks) you might be feeling confident enough to push the intensity to the next level. Here are a couple of variations you can try to make your abs work even harder!
 
Plank with leg raise

 Starting in plank position, make sure that your core is engaged. Lift one leg off the ground slowly, keeping the core tight. Hold the raised leg in the air for 30 seconds to a minute before lowering it back to the ground. Repeat on the other side. 
 
I recommend using a yoga mat for some extra cushioning when doing some of these plank variations, you don’t want to end up with scuffed up elbows!
 
Plank with row
 For this exercise, you’ll want to grab two kettlebells or dumbbells of the same weight. Get into plank position with each of your hands resting on the weights. Keep your back straight as you pull one weight up towards your body in a rowing motion (making sure that your elbow stays in close contact with your sides). Return to the starting position and then alternate sides. 
 

 

Incline plank 
 Take the standard plank and add an incline! Use a step or a foot stool to raise your feet slightly higher than your shoulders and hold for one minute. As you get stronger, you can make the incline higher by using a chair or a bench. Just make sure that you take your time getting up from this position; you want to avoid the possibility of getting dizzy!
 
Reverse plank  
 As the name suggests, this plank is all about facing the other way! Start by sitting on your mat or the floor with your legs out in front. Place your hands on the ground on either side of your hips, fingertips facing towards your feet. Keeping your hands and heels in place, point your toes and lift your butt off the ground. Hold for one minute. 
 
One final reminder before you go off to test your planking skills — following the right technique is a must! Keep your spine neutral, avoid arching your lower back and most importantly, don’t forget to breathe.
 
Love, Kayla xx
 

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.