I'm a Trainer, and This Is the Bodyweight Exercise I've Been Doing Nonstop For Stronger Abs

Tamara Pridgett
Tamara Pridgett

It's easy to get caught up doing the same exercises over and over — especially if you like the move — but I encourage everyone to experiment with the movements you're doing as you train, making them more challenging and more functional.

I'm a big fan of the bear hold, and the other day, I was playing around with it to see if I could make it more advanced than it already is, which led me to coming up with the ahead variation I've dubbed bear hold with a plank (I'm definitely open to more exciting names). You don't have to do many reps to feel this exercise working, and it's all about slow and controlled movements in order to get the full effect.

How to Do a Bear Hold With a Plank

  • Start in a quadruped position with your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly underneath your hips. Your core should be engaged, and your spine should be in a neutral position.
  • With control, lift your knees one inch off the ground. Be sure to keep your back flat and your abs engaged.
  • From this position, extend your right leg straight behind you, then repeat with the left leg. Your back should remain in a neutral position the entire time, and the only movement should come from your legs. You should be in a high plank position.
  • With control, bend your right knee and slowly return your right leg to the starting position followed by the left leg. Be sure to keep your core engaged and your spine in a neutral position.
  • This counts as one rep.
  • Complete 10 reps.