The plank is one of the best moves for targeting your core. In fact, it's a total-body exercise that helps sculpt toned arms, shoulders, and legs as well. Want to get crazy-toned abs faster? Challenge yourself on your next plank by adding one of these modifications you can do in a basic plank position.
- Stop praying: Clasping your hands in elbow plank makes the exercise easier on your abs (and can cause your shoulders to round) so unclasp your hands and focus on creating a long line with your body, shoulders and back, instead.
- Flip your hands: A simple flip of your hands so they are palms up when you are in elbow plank will challenge underused arm muscles and also force your core to work more.
- Stay up: The straight-arm plank is more difficult than the elbow plank, so if you're finding that you need more of a challenge as you hang out on your forearms, focus on perfecting a plank just on your hands.
- Plank on a BOSU: Get unstable by resting your forearms or palms on a BOSU or exercise ball. This challenges your balance to work your core even more.
- Add a variation: If you're ready for even more of a challenge, there are many different ways to make your basic plank that much harder. Here are eight plank variations you need to try.