Plank Your Way to an ‘Iron Man’ Body
One move, 30 seconds, full-body engagement; that’s a plank for you. If you only have time for a short workout; consider skipping the treadmill and prioritising strength training, especially the plank. You may already know enough about planks and how they work the various muscles of your body, especially the abdominal muscles. Besides rewarding you with killer core strength, regular plank exercises can also help you achieve that steel-shredded body. If you’renew to planks, begin by mastering the basic plank first; and then move on to try the other variations.
Basic Plank with a Leg Raise
The starting position remains the same as the basic plank; slowly raise one leg about 5 to 8 inches above the ground level. Hold time for the body is 30 seconds; but the leg should not remain in the air for more than 5 seconds.
This is an excellent move for improving overall body balance. Get into the standard plank position and lower your body to the forearm level. If you cannot keep your palms flat, hold your hand together. When you perform the exercise for the first time, hold for just 10 seconds; and as you keep building strength, increase your holding time to 60 seconds.
This is undoubtedly one of the most powerful plank variations ever. Start by getting into the plank position and raise your right hand and left leg together. Your bicep remains in line with the ear and the leg is completely extended. Alternate the move and work both sides. The two-point plank is a very challenging move; so start with a 30-second hold and slowly increase to 60 seconds.
Start with the standard plank position and bring your heels together, till they meet each other. Slowly lean towards your left and raise the right arm up. This move will help improve the overall stability of your body. The hold time should be anywhere between 10 seconds to a minute, depending on your personal strength.
Sit on the ground, place your hips down and keep the legs straight. Ensure that your hands are placed under your shoulders. With the support of the heels, get into a bridge position. It is advisable not to perform this move if you have shoulder or wrist injuries. Hold this pose for about 20 to 30 seconds and gradually increase the holding time to 60 seconds.
To perform this particular plank variation, you need some extra equipment, namely TRX straps. Hang the straps to an anchorand plant your feet in the loops provided. The position is almost the same as the standard plank; only your feet are now fixed in the straps. This move will activate the muscles in your glutes as well as the hamstrings. The hold time for a TRX plank could be anywhere between 60 to 90 seconds.