Fitness Tip: Plank Variations

Fitness Tip: Plank Variations

Planks are a wonderful exercise for trunk, hip and shoulder stability and moving planks are far more effective and burn more calories than isometric planks. So once you’ve mastered the plank it’s time to start moving in that plank, to start challenging the core and to start burning more calories.

Plank with Walk In:

From the full plank position with hands under shoulders and back straight, walk into a tuck by taking small steps forward and keeping the knees close to the floor and hips down. Then take small steps backwards and return to starting position.

Plank with Walk Around:

From the full plank position, take small steps with both feet to one side then rotate hand and finish in a side plank. Next, walk feet back and around to the other side and rotate into a side plank.

If your wrists bother you in a full plank then drop down onto the forearm and walk forward and back or side to side on your forearms and toes. To modify the plank, drop to your knees but continue to shift your body weight from side to side.

Fitness Tip: Jackknife Crunch Variation

There are many variations of the Jack Knife Crunch, each targeting different muscles of the core.

The Straight Leg Jack Knife Crunch targets the abdominals, primarily. Start by lying on your back and extending your legs out straight and arms overhead. Then simultaneously raise the arms to meet the legs above the hips as you contract the abs.

The Bent Leg Jack Knife Crunch puts less pressure on your spine but is still effective for the abs. Begin with the knees bent and raised. Then extend the legs as you simultaneously reach for the feet with the hands.
The next variation is the Single Leg Alternating Jack Knife Crunch which continues to target the abs but also engages the obliques. Start by lying on your back with both legs and arm extended. Bring the arms up to meet the opposite leg and alternate sides.

The final variation is a Side Lying Jack Knife Crunch which targets primarily the obliques. Begin lying on your side with your bottom arm wrapped around your waist and your top elbow bent with your fingers at your ears. Then simultaneously raise your legs and upper body as you contract your obliques and exhale. The range of motion is small, but the results are big.

Fitness Tip: Battle Ropes Snowboard Shuffle

Battle Ropes are a super effective, full body, low impact training tool that not only develop strength but increases aerobic and anaerobic capacity as well.

The Snow Board Shuffle combines two moves; a lower body ski jump with an upper body alternate vertical arm swing.
The ski jump is a two footed lateral, rotational hop using the quads, hamstrings, adductor muscles including the glutes. While the alternating arm vertical swing incorporates the upper body, mainly the deltoids and stabilizes the core.