Planks are one of the best exercises that can be done for a full-body workout, and are also super convenient! Protima Tiwary shows 5 plank variations that are the ultimate full-body workout.
If you’re a runner, having core strength is extremely important. Good core strength leads to improved balance, mobility, and even endurance. Gone are the days when runners only concentrated on leg workouts. It’s no secret now that if you wish to excel as a runner or an athlete, you need to work on building strength in your entire body.
Runners have started taking their gym regimes seriously, with upper body workouts and core training making up an important part of their training. What if we told you there was one full-body exercise that worked on all your body muscles together, and could be done at home too?
It’s time to truly appreciate the magic of planking. Planks are great for your core, a fact that all of us already know. But they’re also great for the upper body, legs, hamstrings and even the glutes! With some variations to the basic plank form, you can even get a full-body workout with an intense core burn, even better than what you’d get at the gym!
In this article, we’d like to throw light upon plank variations, and how to get them right. Read on to know the 5 workouts that will help you strengthen your entire body, and can be done in the comfort of your homes, or even hotel rooms!
Before we start, let’s revise our basics again. Here’s how you get the plank form right-
- Place your hands directly underneath your shoulders and extend your legs out behind you.
- Keep your feet at a shoulder-width distance
- Squeeze your glutes and quads and tuck your tailbone under slightly (If you feel any strain in your lower back, lift your hips up a little, and squeeze your glutes and core tighter)
- Relax your shoulders, keep your back flat
Here are the 5 variations to the basic plank that will give you an intense full-body burn, great for days you’re running out of time!
- Plank up- Down : 20
- Plank Jack: 30
- Plank Leg Lifts: 15 each leg
- Plank to Downward Dog Tap: 20
- Side Plank Tucks: 15 each side
- Repeat this 2-3 times.
- Here’s how to do the moves-
- Start with a high plank, with your palms on the floor.
- Lower your right arm down so that the forearm is on the floor. The do the same with your left arm. You should now be in the forearm plank position.
- Place your right hand back on the floor and extend your arm. Follow suit with the left hand. You should now be back to your original high plank position.
- Ensure you’re not moving side to side when you’re shifting your hands. If you are, try widening your legs a little more, and squeeze your core!
- Start in a high plank with your palms on the floor
- Now jump and spread your feet out, the same way you’d do in a jumping jack.
- Ensure that your glutes and back do not dip while doing so. Keep your core engaged!
Plank Leg Lifts
- Start in a high plank position
- Lift your right leg up towards the ceiling. The idea is to press your right heel toward the ceiling as high as you can without moving your pelvis or lower back.
- Make sure your lower back is not dipping while you kick.
Plank to Downward Dog Tap
- Start in a high plank position
- Now push your hips upwards, and move into a downward dog position. At the same time, touch your left ankle with your right hand.
- Return your right hand to the floor, get back into high plank position, then go into a downward dog once again. Touch your right ankle with your left hand.
Side Plank Tucks
- Lie on your right side, in a straight plank position
- Ensure that your body forms a straight line
- Hold for 5 seconds, then lower your hips towards the floor, and bring them back up
Bookmark this for those days when you only have 5 minutes to get in a workout, or even as a finisher on days you’re done focussing on intense cardio. Do them from your homes, hotel rooms, at the open ground after the run, or at the gym, all you need is 5 minutes!