When was the last time you really worked your core besides a plank challenge?
I am a big fan of planks! I try to incorporate some kind of plank in every workout that I do. Planks will help you build core strength. The problem with most workouts is that planks aren’t the core part (pun intended) of the workout.
Planks are easy to do and require no gym equipment! Plank exercises are good for people who are beginning their fitness journey and those who are far ahead in their journey. Everyone can benefit from doing them. Core strength improves your posture, stability and balance, and overall health.
To help build your core, I have designed “The ultimate plank workout” to build and strengthen the core.
Before you begin this workout routine, please remember to warm up! A simple warm-up is a great way to get your muscles warm and your blood flowing. I always recommend warming up before you begin a workout. (See Below)
This workout takes approximately 38 minutes. You can do this workout in one sitting if you are trying to crush it, or you can break it up and do half of it in the morning or half of it at night.
The planks that will be in this workout are:
- Forearm plank
- High plank
- Shoulder Taps
- Plank ups
- Plank Reach
For this workout, you will be doing 30 planks! If you haven’t done 30 planks before, I assure you that you can. There will be a rest in between each round and each rep to help you in the working sets.
To further break things down, there will be 6 rounds, 5 different types of planks, 15 seconds rest in between each rep, and 60 seconds between each round. The 60-second rest between rounds will help your body recover and prepare you for the next round!
This is a standard plank. The forearm plank is your foundation. In this plank, start on the ground or a mat with your stomach and chest facing down. Lift your body up with your forearms and toes supporting (on the ground) your center body.
The core here is flexed. Imagine your belly button reaching for your spine. Your hips are stable, not too high in the air and not dipping down. I like your hips to be parallel to the floor.
The high plank is similar to the forearm plank except your forearms are not supporting you up, your palms are. Keep the same form in this plank as you did the forearm plank. This plank is more advanced than the forearm plank, but doable. The high plank will work your shoulders as well as your core! Double win!
Plank Shoulder Taps
Plank shoulder taps require the same form as both the high and forearm plank. For this plank, you are in the high plank position. Your right hand touches your left shoulder and then your left hand touches the right shoulder.
Alternate from right hand to the left shoulder and then from left hand to the right shoulder. If your hips are rocking from side to side, try widening your base; keep your feet about 3-4 feet apart or wider. Repeat shoulder taps for 30 seconds.
Once again, start in the high plank. With plank ups, you will go from the high plank to the forearm plank. Drop one arm down first and when that arm is secured on the ground then drop the other one down to reach the forearm position. Then lift one arm up and then the other arm to get in the high plank. Alternate arm. Repeat for 30 seconds.
I discovered plank reaches at the Row House. It is absolutely my favorite plank exercise. This exercise is great because it works on your core and it works on flexibility in the back as well as the hamstrings.
To do this exercise start in the high plank and move your hands inward to go into a downward dog. Here, you want to walk yourself into this downward dog from the high plank.
In the downward dog position, take the right hand and touch the left foot then walk back out to a high plank. Switch. Now bring the left hand to the right foot. Repeat for 30 seconds.
The Plank Workout
Start with your warm-up. Warm up should last about 5- 10 minutes:
- Arm Circles
- Alternating Arm Circles
- Jumping Jacks
- Deep Knee Bends
- High Knees
Try a Warm up like this! Click below
*Do each warm up exercise for 60 seconds*
After you are done with the warm-up, stretch and shake everything out. Now that you are ready, you will start with the forearm plank. Hold plank for 30 seconds. After the 30 seconds is up, rest. When 15 seconds have passed, start your next plank. Keep going through all the exercises. Hold each plank for 30 seconds and rest for 15 seconds.
When you are done with your first round. Take a 60-second break. When finished, start round 2 with the last plank you did working your way backward. When you have finished resting, now you are ready for round 3.
For round 3, start with the forearm plank.
Round 4 and 5
When you have passed your halfway point, really focus here. This is the time where we get tired and begin to lose form and technique. If you feel your plank is breaking down. Stop. Then restart.
It is better to stop when you tire out than to keep going and lose form. Even if you stop, you can always start back! Keep up the good work. If you feel these planks are too easy, add 15 seconds to the holding time.
Keys to be Successful
- Download this workout and save it to your phone.
- Be committed.
- Do this workout with a friend (This will hold you accountable).
- Do this workout as early as possible (This will limit excuses)
- Film yourself doing this workout (This will make sure your form is impeccable).
- Challenge someone to do this workout (This will keep you motivated).
Make sure you download this workout!
You can easily take the format of this workout and plug in your own type of plank or even ab exercise to make this workout uniquely yours. You can do this workout at home, outside, with your friends, or you can do it as part of a workout challenge. Make sure that you are stretched and ready to go before you start.