I absolutely love planking, and I’m not talking about the bizarre internet trend that was popular a few years ago, I’m talking about the ab-tightening, spine-aligning, all around amazing muscle building, workout move. Doing yoga, I’ve come to love the burn you get from holding plank pose, and the extra burn you get from chaturanga, moving into a low plank. The best part about planking (other than the fact that it works your abs, glutes, inner thighs, quads, hamstrings, back, AND shoulders)? That there’s a ton of variations to try. Here are my favourites:
1. Two-point plank
– this one is great for working on balance and strengthening your core. Alignment is pretty important with this one so you don’t topple over, so make sure your arms are directly below your shoulder. If you like, add in a push-up like this guy:
2. Plank with donkey kick
– I actually haven’t called it a donkey kick before, but that’s what the video below calls it, and as you can see it’s a pretty accurate description. I like the hip opening feeling you get from this move.
3. Side plank
– I like doing this one with my top leg in tree pose, and although I have yet to do that impressive thing where you can grab and hold your top leg with your top arm, I will keep trying. You could also add in a killer oblique crunch as a bonus move.
4. Wall plank
– pretty simple, but this video is a great starting point for anyone who has never done a wall plank:
5. Spiderman plank
– as well as just having an awesome name this variation is a great added bonus to your regular plank.
6. Plank row
– now this variation I actually learned from a BodyRock workout during the 21 day challenge. I’ve been trying to incorporate weights more into my workout and this is a nice way to work the triceps.
7. Thread the needle plank
– great move for when you want a twist, twists are one of my favourite parts of yoga, it’s like your wringing out the dishwater of lymphatic fluids that’s in your washcloth of internal organs. (I really tried to make that analogy work, whatever, here’s a video)
8. Plank jacks
– another variation that I learned from Lisa during the 21 day challenge, these bring a great cardio element to your plank.
There are also a bunch of plank variations that you can try if you own a stability ball (unlike me) but if you’re just looking to switch up your plank pose, then these should be a good place to start. Try out one of these variations in your next workout, and remember, as with a regular plank pose, the aim is to keep you back flat and aligned to get the full benefits of the