2 Super Tough Plank Variations That Take No Time
Planks are super boring. There I said it.
They’re awesome and come with a ton of training benefits, but the mere thought of doing them puts me to bed.
I mentioned in my recent post, 2 Plank Mistakes That Are Holding You Back, that the world record plank is over eight hours (!!!!!).
Could you imagine doing something for that long? Most people (myself included) bitch at the idea of driving or being on a plane for eight hours.
Planking for that long? Not a fucking chance. If I’m going to plank, I want it be over sooner than later. But I still want to retain the training benefits.
If you’re in the same boat and would rather increase the intensity of your planks while minimizing the time commitment, you’ll appreciate these two variations.
1. UNILATERAL PLANK
Main benefit: Anti-rotation
No, it’s not a side plank. It’s a unilateral standard plank.
Unilateral (i.e. one-sided) is one of the many words trainers use to a) stroke their ego, and b) try to trick people into thinking they’re smart. Is it working yet?
Here, you’re holding a regular plank position on one arm instead of both.
How to do it:
- Get into a plank position on both elbows with your legs locked and slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Turn one arm (balancing arm) to a 90 degree angle and lift your other arm off the floor (extending it out straight to your side).
- Maintain a “flat back” and full body tension while balancing on one arm.
- Try holding each side for 20 sec, rest 20 sec then repeat for 3 rounds (this is just a suggestion).
2. EXTENDED PLANK
Main benefit: Anti-extension
This will light your core the fuck up. Seriously.
But tread carefully. Most people have a hard time holding this plank while maintaining a neutral lower back. All plank variations work core stabilization to some degree, but this extended plank really emphasizes anti-extension.
How to do it:
- Get into a plank position on both elbows.
- Slide your feet back (you can use sliders or anything that can glide along the surface you’re using) with your arms stretch forward.
- Your shoulders should be stacked behind your elbows.
- Maintain a neutral lower back and constant full body tension.
- Try one of these routines on for size (these are just suggestions):
- Hold for 10 sec, rest 10 sec, repeat for 5 rounds.
- Hold for 20 sec, rest 10 sec, repeat for 3-5 rounds.