6 Plank Variations to Test Your Core Strength
The first thing you need to do is decide which side of your body will perform the exercise. If you are doing it on one side, then you should choose a side that is stable (not too unstable) and preferably not too hard or soft. For example if you want to do it on your right leg, then choose a side that is not too hard or soft.
Also, try to avoid performing any kind of twisting movements while doing the exercise.
Once you have decided which side of your body will perform the exercise, you should start with the exercises and work up from there. You might feel soreness at first but after a few days you will get used to it and it won’t hurt anymore.
Now that you have chosen the side of your body, you should take into consideration how much weight you would like to lift. Lifting weights is always better than lifting just one arm or leg because it increases strength in all muscles involved. So if you want to increase your core strength, then make sure that the weight you use is heavy enough so that it doesn’t cause pain when lifted.
You don’t want to injure yourself!
Now that you have chosen the weight, start of easy by just lifting one arm or leg for about 10-20 times before moving on to the next exercise. You can also increase or decrease the amount of weight as well as the repetitions. Also, you can choose which side you want to lift first or last in order to place more stress on that particular side of your body.
Stability Exercises For Your Core:
1. Leg Raises:
Purpose: This exercise will help target your lower abs, upper abs, and obliques.
This exercise is usually the first core exercise that people learn to do. It focuses on the lower and upper abs and obliques.
How To Do This Exercise:
Lay down flat on your back with your legs straight out and your arms at your side.
Lift your legs up off of the ground till they are almost straight up in the air.
Lower your legs back down to the ground slowly and repeat for as many times as you need to.
You can also try lifting your legs to the side instead of straight up in the air, this will work out different muscles in your core.
Go at your own pace and remember to breathe slowly and calmly in through your nose and out through your mouth.
2. Leg Tucks:
Purpose: This exercise helps target your lower abs and your obliques.
This exercise is great for working out those hard to get at lower abs. Since most of us need a little help in the lower abdominal area, this is a great exercise to do. You will definitely feel it the next day, so go at your own pace and don’t over do it!
How To Do This Exercise:
Lay down on your back with your legs extended straight out and arms at your side.
Bend your knees and pull your feet up toward your rear end without bending your legs at the hip or raising your butt off of the ground.
Once you’ve pulled your feet up as close to your rear end as possible, slowly extend your legs back out and repeat for as many reps as desired.
3. Mountain Climbers:
Purpose: This exercise helps target your core and your hip flexors.
This exercise is great because it works both sides of your body without you having to figure out which side to do first. It also involves your hips which makes it a great combination muscle toner.
Sources & references used in this article:
Electromyographical comparison of plank variations performed with and without instability devices by RL Snarr, MR Esco – The Journal of Strength & Conditioning …, 2014 – journals.lww.com
Core strength training using a combination of home exercises and a dynamic sling system for the management of low back pain in pre-professional ballet dancers: a … by JB Kline, JR Krauss, SF Maher… – Journal of dance medicine …, 2013 – ingentaconnect.com
Effects of core strength training using stable versus unstable surfaces on physical fitness in adolescents: a randomized controlled trial by U Granacher, J Schellbach, K Klein, O Prieske… – BMC sports science …, 2014 – Springer
An electromyographic comparison of a modified version of the plank with a long lever and posterior tilt versus the traditional plank exercise by BJ Schoenfeld, B Contreras, G Tiryaki-Sonmez… – Sports …, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
A Comparison of the Plank and Perfect Plank Using Electromyography by MR Ivers – 2017 – rave.ohiolink.edu
Effect of Graded Plank Protocol on Core Stability in Sedentary Dentists by S Patil, A Mahajan – International Journal of Research and Review, 2020 – ijrrjournal.org