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Start the New Year off right by amplifying your fitness routine with planks. Planks have become immensely popular over the past few years, and awareness keeps growing! This fitness craze is more than just a trend. Planks are a great exercise that you can try in many different ways — even at home. They produce amazing results, since they strengthen your core muscles, including abs, hips, and glutes.
Why Are Planks So Great?
Planks require constant and consistent balance and rotation. The American Council on Exercise ranked planks in the top two criteria for the most effective abdominal exercises. To pull off planks the right way, you need to have major core strength. The American College of Sports Medicine Journal notes that core strength is necessary for even normal movements in everyday activities, and for injury prevention and lower back pain.
Try these five different planks to amp up your fitness routine!
1. Plain Plank
1) Lie on your stomach flat to the floor and push up onto forearms.
2) Bend elbows and rest weight on forearms.
3) Keeps elbows under your shoulders.
4) Pull bellybutton up towards your spine.
5) Keep your body in the shape of a flat line. Keep hips and butt within the line — no sagging or pushing upwards!
6) Another option is do the plank on your hands instead of elbows, and balance your weight on your elbows instead of forearms, if you prefer or if you feel pain or stiffness.
2. Side Plank
1) Lie down on your side with legs and body in a straight line. Keep your shoulders and hips stacked one on top of the other. Keep aligned without leaning forwards or backwards.
2) Boost your body up so hips aren’t touching the floor while keeping your weight rested on the elbow on the floor.
3) Make sure that only your forearms and feet are touching the floor.
4) Keep your hips straight and still, don’t drop them downwards. Although this is the most tiring part of the exercise, it is the most rewarding in the end.
3. Walking Plank
1) Start in a push-up position with arms extended.
2) Plank your feet in a fixed position.
3) Walk on your hands for 1-3 feet towards the right, and then switch to the left.
4) Keep your belly tucked in throughout these movements.
4. Spiderman Plank
1) Start in a regular plank position.
2) Bring your right knee towards right elbow.
3) Switch sides and bring your left knee towards left elbow.
4) Repeat and hold as desired.
5. Alternating Hand Plank
1) Start in a regular plank position with weight resting on forearms.
2) Push up onto your right hand until right arm is straight. Then push up onto your left hand until left arm is straight.
3) Lower back down onto your right forearm, and then lower your left. Repeat these reps to your liking.
4) Make sure to keep your hips fixed when doing lifts and lowering back down.
Who knew that planking could make such a difference? It’s time to make the most from planks to enhance your fitness routine today! Go above and beyond by trying new things and see where it takes you! Push yourself to new heights, and the results will make you appreciate all your hard work.
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