8 Plank Variations to Tone and Strengthen Your Whole Body

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8 Plank Variations to Strengthen Your Entire Body

Planks are an amazingly simple way to tone and strengthen your entire bod... and you'd probably do them more often if they weren't so repetitive and (yawn) boring. Luckily, there are oodles of plank variations to choose from that will make you fall in love with them all over again.

Here are 8 plank variations that won't put you to sleep:

1. Plank punches

Start in full plank, making sure your shoulders, arms and wrists are in line with each other and your back is flat. Focus on engaging your core and glutes. Raise your right arm and punch forward, extending your arm straight out while continuing to keep your core engaged. Lower your arm and repeat with your left. Alternate arms for 30 to 60 seconds.

2. Plank toe touch

Starting in full plank, engage your abs and gently move your left leg out to the side, touching your toe to the ground at a 45-degree angle. Return your leg back to starting position and repeat with your right, alternating for 30 to 60 seconds.

3. Hip drop side plank

Begin in side plank and drop your hips slightly toward the floor, making sure to keep your body in a straight line. Hold for 10 seconds before heading back to starting position. Do 5 to 10 reps then repeat on the other side.

4. Plank with leg raise

Starting in half plank pose, lift your left leg off the ground straight behind you. Ensure your core is engaged for added support. Hold for one minute, then repeat on the other side.

5. Plank jumping jack

In half plank pose, jump and separate your legs so your body's forming a Y. Jump your feet back together and repeat 10 to 20 times, making sure to keep your core engaged and aligned with your neck and hips.

6. Spiderman plank

Start in full plank, again making sure your shoulders are in line with your arms and wrists. Keeping your hips level, bring your left knee as close to your left elbow as possible. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat on the other side, alternating between legs for one to two minutes.

7. Knee-to-inside-elbow plank

Once you've mastered the Spiderman plank, kick things up a notch by bringing your left knee underneath and across your body toward the inside of your right elbow. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat on the other side, alternating between legs for one to two minutes.

8. Walking plank

Start in half plank and carefully push yourself up to full plank one arm at a time, keeping your hips as still as possible and your core engaged. Lower back down to half plank. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

How many plank variations have you tried?

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Image: Plank photo via Shutterstock

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