I love going through planks as I find them an excellent exercise to help with back injury recovery and prevention. However, doing standard planks can be a bit boring. So, here are four killer core plank variations that can spice up your workout for a healthier core and back. Follow these four plank variations to spice up your core workout while keeping your back injury-free. Enjoy the exercises.
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I got Donnalee to demonstrate the plank variations.
1. Plank With Hip Dips
Start with a front plank position. Keep your head, shoulders, hips, and feet in proper alignment and your elbows bent. Rotate slightly to one side, then dip the hip to touch the floor. Go back to the start position and repeat it with the other side.
Plank With Hip Dips
Remembering to avoid excessive rotation in your lower back when dropping the hips is key. After you go through a couple of repetitions, you may find this exercise a bit challenging to do. This targets different muscles within the core that we don’t usually work on with the static front plank.
2. Single-arm Planks
Go into a front plank position. Keep your head, shoulders, hips, and feet in proper alignment and your elbows bent. Lift one arm slowly and reach it forward. Hold the position for a few seconds, then return to the plank position. Do the same movements with the other arm. The single-arm plank works on rotation with your core muscles.
Single-arm Planks From the Toes
While the goal of this variation is to keep the plank straight, it is common for people to shift to their sides when reaching the arm forward. This happens especially when it’s your first time doing a plank. You can regress from the knees to focus on learning the exercise first. Then, progress from the toes.
Single-arm Planks From the Knees (Regressed)
3. Walking Planks
Get into a plank position. Maintain proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and feet with straight arms. Keep the abdominal area tight. Shuffle, or walk without lifting your feet, twice to one side. Start walking with your hands and then move with your feet. Do the same movements in the other direction.
The walking plank works on your core muscles and the stability in your shoulder and hips.
4. Rocking Plank
Get into a plank position. Rock your body forward slowly by moving your toes forward, and then rock back by moving your toes backward. Maintain good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and feet with elbows bent.
Give these plank variations a go to keep a healthy back and prevent back pain and injury.
Rick Kaselj, MS
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