There’s no workout regime in the world that’s ever complete without the plank. This holds true in my case too given that I can kill for a flat stomach currently.
And so taking that push-up position with my elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, forearms resting on the floor, and the tip of my toes touching the ground has been the most regular feature of my workouts.
After all, keeping your body straight and parallel to the ground takes core strength right? But what if I told you that you could get more out of this one-minute torture?
Well, that’s exactly what my instructor told me and I found it just as hard to believe as I found it hard to do.
He recommended switching your position while doing the plank to involve more muscle groups in the exercise, raise your heartbeat, and obviously burn more calories. Here are three ways you can do just that:
1. Alternating arm and leg raises
All you’ve got to do is to assume the raised plank position, extend your left arm forward at shoulder level, and your right leg straight behind you. At this point, only your right hand and the toes of your left leg will be in contact with the ground. Hold this position for a second and then bring back the left arm and right leg back to the original position followed by extending your right arm forward and left leg backwards in the same manner.
A couple of repetitions of this variation and you’ll be sweating like a pig while strengthening your core, arms, and lower back in one go and burning more calories.
2. Side plank rotation
This one’s a blessing in disguise for people like me who can’t wait to bring their out-of-whack love handles under control.
So, start with the original plank position, open up your hips and chest towards your left side first assuming the side plank position, raise your right arm towards the ceiling, and now the real work begins.
Rotate back to the original position and then back up into the side-plank position raising your right arm again. Do the same thing when you change your side from left to right. 30 seconds for each side and you’ll know what I am talking about.
3. Plank ups and downs
If you want to tone up your arms just as well as your core, this variation can work wonders for you. What you need to do is to get into the raised-plank position and then lower down one elbow followed by the other elbow so as to get into the elbow-plank position. Pause for a second and raise your elbow back up—one at a time—to get back into the raised plank position you began with.
Ladies, do give these variations a try and even the most stubborn belly fat will go away—at least mine did.