I’m still here in beautiful San Diego.
A while ago, I headed out to the gym for a workout. One of the exercises that I love to do that targets the core is plank exercises.
I love going through planks as I find them as 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. These plank variations will challenge your core and abs while keeping your back injury-free.
Enjoy the exercises!
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I got Donnalee to demonstrate the exercises.
#1 – Plank With Hip Dips
Start with a front plank position. Keep your head, shoulders, hips and feet in proper alignment and elbows bent. Rotate to one side slightly, and then dip the hip to touch the floor. Go back up to start position and repeat it with the other side.
Plank With Hip Dips
A key thing to remember is to avoid excessive rotation in your lower back when dropping the hips. 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 elbows bent. Lift one arm slowly and reach it forward. Hold the position for a few seconds, then go back 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. What you can do is to 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 your arms straight. 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. Maintain good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and feet with elbows bent. Rock your body forward slowly by moving your toes forward and then rock back by moving your toes backward.
Give these plank variations a go to keep a healthy back and to prevent back pain and injury.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to take charge of your back pain and get rid of the discomfort safely, then check out the Low Back Pain Solved program here.