5 Ways to Update Your Plank

This morning I was back on CH Morning Live, this time sharing ways viewers can shake up their plank. To watch this mornings segment click here.

Whether on your toes, knees, hands, or elbows the plank is a great move to strength your erector spinae, rectus abdominis (abs), and transverse abdominus, as well as stabilize through your  trapezius (traps), rhomboids, rotator cuff, the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles (delts), pectorals (pecs), serratus anterior, gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and gastrocnemius.

Here is a short summary of some of those moves starting with the traditional plank.

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Plank (regular and modified). Assume a push up position with hands or elbows under the shoulders. The body should form a straight line from the top of the head towards the heels or knees if kneeling.

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1. Mountain Climber. From a plank position on your toes, increase your heart rate by jogging knees towards your chest. To decrease the challenge march your knees towards the chest.

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2. Plank Jacks. From a plank position on your toes, jump both feet wide and then return both feet narrow together. To decrease the challenge alternate a toe tap away from the center line of the body one foot at a time.

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3. Alternating Shoulder Tap. On the knees or toes, maintain a balance and stable hip position while touching the opposite hand to shoulder. To decrease the challenge, increase the distance between the knees widening your base of support.

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4. Side Plank. With a focus on the obliques place one arm on the floor balancing on your elbow or hand. Place your same knee on the ground (left hand, left knee) or come into a full variation of the side plank by stacking both of your feet. Keep your hips raised and spine long.

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5. Side Plank Hip Lifts. From a side plank position lift and lower the hips, increasing and decreasing the distance between the hip and the floor.

 

To watch these moves in action, view this mornings segment here.

Create a Revolution With This Years Resolution Workout

The new year is a great time to reset and restart your workout routine. Maybe you want it give it a small makeover by adding  few challenging moves, or maybe it requires a core shaking revival, either way these 5 moves will give you a total body workout in your own house, no equipment needed!

Pick one of the three programs from below, they all use the same 5 exercises,  and sneak your workouts in whenever you can.

Don’t want to read below? Watch me take you through these moves during my segment from CH Morning Live aired January 5th here.

Programs:

  1. Total Time: Do 12 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next without resting. Complete as many rounds as possible in 15minutes
  2. Total Rounds: Do 12 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next without rest. Complete five rounds and note how long it takes you to finish. Aim to do the workout faster next time.
  3. Total Reps: Perform as many reps as you can of each move in one minute each, moving from one exercise to the next without stopping. Rest one minute, then repeat the sequence two more times. Keep track of your total rep count and try to beat your grand total next time.

Exercises

1. Traveling Lunge: Standing with feet hip distance apart, step  forward with your left leg into a standing split position and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent to at least 90 degrees.

Pause and then with your left leg step backwards and slowly lower your body until your front right knee is bent to at least 90 degrees. Pause and then return to standing. Those two movements are one set. Repeat on the other side.

 2. Marching Hip Raise: Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

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Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Lift one knee to your chest, lower back to the start, and lift your other knee to your chest. Continue to alternate back and forth.

3. Trunk Twist: Lie face-up on the floor with your arms straight out from your sides. Raise your legs off the floor so that your hips and knees are bent 90 degrees.

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Brace your abs and lower your legs to the right as far as you can without lifting your shoulders off the floor. Reverse the movement all the way to the left. Continue to alternate back and forth.

4. Alternating Superman: Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and your arms extending above the head, palms down.

FullSizeRenderContract your glutes and the muscles of your lower back, and raise your head, chest, right arm, and left leg off the floor. Hold for 15 seconds, lower and repeat using your left arm and right leg. Hold and repeat again on the alternating sides.

5. Shoulder Tap Plank: Starting on all fours place your hands on the floor slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders.

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Tap your right shoulder with your left hand, pause and then return to the starting position, with both hands under shoulders. Repeat with the right hand. Continue alternating shoulder taps for the duration of the set.

Modification: Instead of performing the exercise with your legs straight, bend your knees and cross your ankles behind you. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your knees.