When it comes to strengthening your middle, planks pull your entire core together. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy: it's a love-hate relationship. To switch up your basic plank incorporate a twisting motion. This variation gives you the same results while also engaging the sides of your core. Hello, obliques!
Start in a Plank
- Begin in a plank position.
- Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your legs are squeezed together. Create one long line from your heels all the way to the crown of your head.
- Hold this basic plank for 10 to 20 seconds to warm up your core before twisting. Make sure your back stays lifted with open shoulder blades to prevent your chest from sinking down.
Lift Your Knees
- Hold your plank position and bend your knees, allowing them to slightly hover over the ground.
- Straighten your lower back by pulling your abs in, in preparation to start the twist.
- In one fluid motion, twist your knees to the right, initiating the movement from your obliques.
- Return to the center, then twist to the left. Do this 10 times on each side.
- For more of a challenge: end the exercise in a traditional plank with your knees extended and hold it for 10 to 20 seconds.
Learn a slightly easier variation after the break.
Make It Easier
- To lighten your load and make it easier to twist, start on the floor on all fours. Make sure your hands still fall directly underneath your shoulders and your knees draw below your hips.
- Lift your knees up and twist to the right, center, then left. Do this 10 times on each side.