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Love planks for weight loss? Try these variations to lose some extra kilos

Updated on:1 July 2021, 13:27pm IST
Exercises such as planks will help burn more calories, but guess what? Incorporating some of its variations can speed up weight loss.
Aayushi Gupta
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Tone your muscles and burn fat with a plank. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Weight loss is not just important to improve one’s posture, but it also helps to prevent certain health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. But losing fat is a struggle for many. That’s exactly why specific exercises are advised in order to enhance fat burn. One such exercise is the good old plank!

A plank helps to burn fat rapidly, largely because it can engage multiple muscles at once. No wonder, it benefits the core strength of your body and boosts your metabolic rate to lose weight. All in all, a plank is an excellent choice to stimulate the whole body. 

Although basic regular planks are a great way to start your weight loss journey, you can multiply the many benefits of planks by trying one of these challenging variations that involve more muscle groups in the exercise, raise your heartbeat, and obviously burn more calories.

Here are the five variations of planks:
1. Forearm plank

Plank is one of the best calorie-burning exercises. A forearm plank is a traditional plank that boosts your weight loss journey. It is the best variation of a plank, if you’re a beginner. 

Core strengthening exercises like plank can help you lose weight. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Get into the push up position.

Step 2: Place your forearms on the ground. Bend elbows to 90-degrees and pitch forward to place your hands and forearms on the floor. 

Step 3: Distribute your weight evenly on the upper arms, tightening your abs and glutes, while keeping your torso straight. 

Note: Put the weight on your back as well. 

Step 4: Look forward while you’re here and hold the position for 10-20 seconds initially. Keep adding more seconds to it, every time you get into a plank.

Step 5: Remember to breathe! 

2. Reverse plank

If you’re planning to try a plank for weight loss, why not try a reverse plank? Reverse planks contract the core muscles and work out the region, so as to burn fat. Not just that, the reverse plank also helps you achieve a great posture.

This plank variation can tone your body and burn fat. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front of your body. Place your hands behind your hips, slightly wider than your shoulder, with fingers pointed towards your hips.

Step 2: Gently press into your palms and lift your hips and torso towards the ceiling, until it forms a straight line from head to toe.

Step 3: Keep your arms and legs straight and brace your abs, keeping your neck relaxed. 

Step 4: Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds, and then release to the floor slowly.

Note: While holding the pose, if your hips begin to sag or drop, lower yourself back to the floor, and relax for 10-20 seconds. Then, try again.

3. Walking plank

Walking the plank boosts your metabolism, so you burn more calories throughout the day. It can strengthen your core as well as upper and lower muscle groups. A walking plank can fire up every muscle in your body. But to reap its benefits, you need to do it properly.

Walking plank strengthens your core, builds endurance, and provides stability. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Start off in a plank position with straight arms and hands directly underneath your shoulders.

Step 2: Make sure you’re forming a straight line from shoulder to feet. 

Step 3: Now, walk your right hand forward as far as possible, then bring your left hand to meet it, keeping hand shoulder-width apart.

Step 4: Step left hand back to start, then your right hand. 

Step 5: That’s one rep. Now, alternate. Try to complete five steps to the right and then five again to the left for one set. 

4. Side plank

This one’s a blessing for those who want to lose weight. This plank can help you achieve a good posture and ease of movement to build a strong core and better balance. Because a side plank doesn’t put pressure on the lower back or neck, this plank variation is simple but effective.

Try side plank to curl those love-handles.
Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Start with the original plank position, open up your hips and chest towards your left side, first assuming the side plank position.

Step 2: Raise your right arm towards the ceiling and let the left palm rest on the floor, while supporting the pose.

Step 3: Engage your abdominal muscles, and keep your torso straight with no sagging or bending.

Step 4: Hold the position for 15-20 seconds. After that rotate back to the original position and then repeat on your other side.

5. Alternating arm and leg raise

Like all plank variations, the alternating arm and leg raise is an excellent way to strengthen your core and lose weight. This plank belongs to the calisthenic exercise that primarily targets abs, glutes, hip flexors, lower back, obliques, quads, and shoulders. Thus, it works as a perfect exercise for weight loss.

Tone up your abs with this plank variation! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Start in a regular plank position with hands shoulder-width apart and arms straight.

Step 2: Keep your abs engaged and raise your right leg off the floor, until it’s at about hip height. Next, extend your left arm forward at shoulder level.

Step 3: At this point, only the left leg and right hand will be in contact with the ground. 

Step 4: Hold the position for a second and bring back the left arm and right leg back to the floor. 

Step 5: That counts as one rep. Repeat with your left leg and right arm. And also, aim to complete two sets of 10 reps each.

So, are you ready?

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.