If you have been lifting for a while, I think it is safe to say you have outgrown the basics. That is good news since now you can stop fooling around and start doing planks that will make a huge difference.
Planks are great for adding overall strength in your body at the core level. And here are three ways to give your planks even more power-building potential:
1. Do a Press
Sure, you might do arm and leg lifts, but you are going to want to include some load at a certain point. Try the plank kettlebell press. It is possibly the most difficult plank you have never tried, yet very simple. Just get a kettlebell, go into a high plank and begin punching straight ahead.
Punching with a kettlebell will require more from your core rotary stability and exercises your shoulders and your scapula stabilizers more. Here there is an added chain for more badass-ness but that is completely optional.
Go for reps over duration. Do 10-15 heavy presses for each arm to start.
2. Try Wobbliness
Your core is built to work in multiple directions and strange situations. So your core training will benefit from a good amount of wobbliness.
This hanging kettlebell plank is an advanced plank I love for this reason:
Here, you are using an element of instability without sacrificing much in your weight department. The hanging kettlebell plank develops a much more resilient and stable spine and pelvis and helps get better positional and body awareness.
3. Find New Ways to Add Load
The fastest way to get better at planking and increase your core strength is to tack on extra load at any time you can. I’m not talking about putting more weight than your form can handle. Instead, think about the weight as your way to influence, instead of force, your body into growing a little stronger each week.
For example, try to see how many plates you can put on your back without them falling off.
This might look more fun than any exercise could be, but you are accomplishing multiple things here at once, including working through your shoulder mobility and the difficult challenge of resisting rotation and extension from your midsection.
Author: Scott Dowdy