How to do a plank like a pro


One of the best ways to strengthen your core and enhance your abs is through planking. Best part? You can do it anytime, anywhere, no equipment required. Each of these plank exercises builds on one another, so we suggest trying to master one per day. Soon enough, you’ll be saying hello to super strength and poolside confidence (just like Demi Lovato!).  

Basic plank

Get on the floor as though you are going to lie face-down, and put your elbows on the ground directly beneath your shoulders, with your forearms laying flat in front of you and your arms forming a 90-degree angle. Extend your legs and push up on your toes to elevate your body. Be sure to keep your torso and your legs straight, and keep your core muscles tightened and engaged. Hold this pose for 45 seconds, then repeat. 

Side planks

Get into a basic plank position. Then, make fists with your hands and use your left arm to propel your body on its side so your left arm and left foot are the only things touching the ground and holding you up. Stretch your right arm into the air above you. You shouldn’t let your body droop--instead maintain a straight, diagonal line from your shoulder to your toes. Hold this position for 45 seconds then return to a basic plank. Repeat on your right side for 45 seconds. Do each side once more. 

Side hip dips

Begin in a basic plank, then transition into a left side plank. Move your hips toward the ceiling, then dip them to the floor, and finally return to your start position. Continue these repetitions for 60 seconds, then repeat while in a right side plank. Do each side one more time. 

Plank jacks

Start in a basic plank position, then extend your arms so they’re straight and your body is now at a slight diagonal. This is what we call a high plank. Next, hop your feet out so they’re slightly farther than hip-width apart. Don’t let your butt go above the height of your shoulders--remember, your body should remain in a slight diagonal. Quickly hop your feet back to your starting position. This is one plank jack. Continue repetitions for 60 seconds. Repeat two more times. 

High plank crosses

Get into a high plank position. Bring your left knee across your body towards your right elbow and hold the position for three seconds, then return to a high plank. Repeat, this time bringing your right knee across towards your left elbow. Continue alternating sides for 60 seconds. Repeat two more times. 

Do you want to incorporate planks into your workout routine? 

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by Kelly Myslinski | 2/1/2016