Tone Your Entire Body With This 1 Move
Short on time? Don’t skip the strength-training session u2014 get playful with the plank! By doing multitasking variations of this basic move| you can target your arms| back| core| legs| and booty to chisel out a stronger| more toned you.
| Plank Jacks
Take your jumping jacks to the floor for this plank variation that not only works your arms| core| and lower body| it’ll also get your heart pumping.
- Begin in plank position with your feet together. Keep your upper body stable and engage your abs.
- Begin doing jumping jacks with your legs. Hop them wide| then hop them together. Jump as quickly as you want.
- Do a total of 30 jumping jacks| which counts as one set. Then complete two more sets.
| Two-Point Plank
This exercise might remind you of the quadruped (a crunchless ab exercise) on crack. It’s superhard| but the payoff is a stable torso.
- Start in a plank position. Cheat your right leg toward your center line| and lift your left leg off the ground so your heel is even with your pelvis.
- Keeping your torso steady| reach your right arm forward. Really brace through the abs by pulling your navel to your spine. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Keeping your torso stable| bring your right elbow to your left knee under your body. Do not round your back or twist your spine| and keep your pelvis down. Then reach the arm and leg out and away from each other. This counts as one rep.
- Do three sets of five to seven reps on each side.
| Elbow Plank
This is a killer move for your core| legs| and upper body. When holding elbow plank| be sure your shoulders are stacked over your elbows and your body is in one straight line.
- Start on the floor| resting on your forearms and knees.
- Step your feet out one at a time| coming into a plank position.
- Contract your abs to prevent your booty from sticking up or sinking. Your spine should be parallel to the floor| with your abs pulling toward the ceiling.
- Hold 30 seconds| and work your way up to one minute as you get stronger.
| Elbow Plank With Donkey Kick
Elbow plank is tough enough| but make it even more challenging by adding a booty-strengthening donkey kick.
- From elbow plank position| bend your right knee| flex your heel| and press your foot up toward the ceiling without moving your pelvis. Lower the bent leg slightly| and repeat for a total of 15 to 20 repetitions. Then switch sides. Do three sets on each leg.
| Up-Down Plank
Strengthen your arms| upper back| and core with this challenging exercise called up-down plank.
- Come into plank position with your arms and legs straight.
- Beginning with the right side first| lower your elbow to the floor where your hand was. Then lower your left elbow to the floor where your left hand was (now you are in elbow plank| with your forearms parallel).
- Then come back into the starting plank position onto your right hand and then back onto your left. This completes one rep.
- Perform 10 reps starting with your right elbow. Then reverse directions by bringing your left elbow down first for an additional 10 reps.
| Side Plank Leg Lift
This variation of plank called side plank leg lift targets your shoulders| waist| abs| back| outer thighs| and glutes.
- Place your right elbow on the ground. Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line and you’re balancing on the outside edge of your right foot.
- Flex both feet if you can| and either rest your top hand on your upper hip or extend it in the air. Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged| lift your left leg up just higher than your top hip. Then slowly lower it back to your bottom leg.
- Do three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.
| Easy Knee-Tuck Crunches
Capitalize on the instability of an exercise ball| and try the tuck crunch. This move strengthens your core while toning your arms| chest| shoulders| and lower abs.
- Get into a plank with your shins on the ball.
- Pull your knees toward your chest| and then shoot your legs back out. Keep your body in a plank position the entire time.
- Do three sets of 15 to 20 crunches.
| Reverse Plank
This yoga-inspired tabletop lift will tone your triceps| quads| glutes| and abs using a reverse-plank variation.
- Start in a tabletop position. Inhale and| as you exhale| lower your hips and straighten your legs so your hips are hovering above the floor. To make this move more challenging| hold each position longer.
- Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps| flowing from one to the other| pivoting on your hands and heels.
| Reverse Plank With Leg Lift
Try this variation of the reverse plank to target your shoulders| legs| and abs.
- Begin sitting on your tush with your legs straight. Bring your palms a few inches behind you| fingertips facing the toes.
- Press into your feet and lift your bum off the ground. Try to keep your body in one diagonal line. You can also do this exercise on your elbows if it bothers your wrists.
- Alternate between lifting your right leg up and then your left. Move with control| making the movements slow and steady| and keeping the hips lifted.
- Complete three sets of 15 to 20 lifts on each leg.
| Circling Plank
Grab an exercise ball for this move that tones your upper body and your lower abs.
- Begin in an Elbow Plank with your forearms resting on the top of a ball.
- Keeping your core strong and your body still| use your arms to roll the ball in small counterclockwise circles.
- Do five circles in this direction and five clockwise. This counts as one set.
- Complete three sets.
| Plank Row
Add some rowing action to your plank to target not only your arms and back| but your core and glutes too. Talk about a full-body exercise!
- Start in a plank position with your legs wider than hip distance; the wider stance makes you more stable. Hold onto your dumbbells| keeping your wrist locked to protect the joint.
- With your core tight and your glutes engaged| exhale| stabilizing your torso as you lift your left elbow to row; feel your left shoulder blade sliding toward your spine as you bend your elbow up toward the ceiling.
- Keeping your neck long and energized| return the weight to the ground| and repeat the movement on your right side.
- Do 10 reps per arm| and repeat for three sets.
| Side Elbow Plank With a Twist
Adding a twist to a side plank challenges your balance| works your obliques| and tones your shoulders!
- Come into a side elbow plank on your right side| with your feet stacked one on top of the other. Keep your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body.
- Place your left arm behind your head| and inhale to prepare.
- Exhale| and pull your navel to your spine| engaging your deep abs. Rotate your left ribcage toward the floor. Stay there for a second| and deepen your abdominal connection by pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.
- Return to the starting position| and repeat seven more times for a total of eight reps| then switch sides. Repeat series again on your left side.
| Plank With Lateral Arm Reach
With this plank variety| balance and control are key. It’s definitely a move that will have you feeling the burn.
- Start in a plank position.
- Keeping your torso stable| slowly reach your left arm out to your side. Brace through the abs by pulling your navel to your spine. Hold this position for five seconds. If you feel too unstable| try moving your right hand so it is under the center of your chest rather than under shoulder right shoulder.
- Keeping your torso stable| bring your arm back to the plank position. Do not round your back or twist your spine.
- Repeat this same motion on the other side| extending your right arm to your side.This counts as one rep.
- Do three sets of five to seven reps.
| Plank Side Walk
For shapely deltoids| take your plank for a sideways walk with this move that’ll target the core as well as the upper body.
- Begin in plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders| body in one straight line.
- Simultaneously cross your right hand over your left| as you step your left foot to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left| so you’re back in plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart.
- Repeat this for five steps to the left| and five steps to the right to complete a rep. Be sure to keep the hips low as you move| drawing the navel toward the spine.
- Repeat four more more times for a total of five reps.
| Side-Plank Crunch
We love how this move targets the entire side of the body.
- Begin in a side elbow plank with your left elbow down and your right hand behind your head.
- Keeping your torso stable and your waist lifted| bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap your right elbow.
- Lengthen your right leg back to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Do 10 reps on each side to complete a set. Do three complete sets.