Planks are one of the best exercises out there for firing up your core-and boosting your overall athletic performance. But we know just as much as you do that they can be a bit, well, boring. It’s hard not to focus on how slowly the seconds tick by, if we’re being totally honest.
But don’t worry-there are so many plank variations out there that will still give you a killer workout when you want to mix things up. You just need to find a way to put them all together.
So we tapped Lindsey Clayton, instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp and cofounder of the Brave Body Project, to put together a fun, fast-paced circuit with plank variations you probably didn’t even know existed until now. The best part? It takes 10 minutes or less to complete. So tack this workout onto the end of a ride or cross-training workout, or simply fit it in alone if you’re crunched for time, but still want to break a sweat.
[Looking to start cross training but don’t know where to start? The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training will teach you all the fundamentals to get the most out of your weight session, priming you for stronger miles in the saddle.]
How to do it: There are a few ways you can do this five-move circuit.
- Perform each exercise for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between.
- Move straight through each exercise, performing each for 30 seconds with no rest in between. Rest 30 seconds after the fifth move, then repeat the sequence two or three times.
Watch the video below-filmed with Amber Reese, Barry’s Bootcamp instructor and cofounder of the Brave Body Project-which demonstrates each of the five moves.
1. Plank Shoulder Tap to Primal Press Back
Start in high plank position, feet a bit wider than your shoulders. Bring right arm across chest to tap left shoulder, then return to starting position. Then bring left arm across chest to tap left right, then return to starting position. Next, go into child’s pose without your knees touching ground.
2. Downward Dog to Spider
Start on your hands and knees. Align wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Spread fingers and press into palms. Tuck toes and lift knees off the floor. Gently try to straighten legs and raise hips into an inverted V. Lower back down into plank position, while tucking right leg in and out to the side. Return to downward dog position, then repeat with left leg.
3. Bear Plank Twist
Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Keeping your back flat and your butt down, lift your knees off the ground a few inches. Twist your body to the left while simultaneously kicking your right foot out in front of you and touching it with your left hand. Return to starting position. Then repeat on opposite side: Twist your body to the right while simultaneously kicking your left foot out in front of you and touching it with your right hand.
4. Alternating Side Plank With Hip Dip
Start in a side-plank position-right forearm on the ground-forming a straight line from your head to your feet, feet stacked on top of each other. Dip your body so that your right hip touches the ground, then immediately return back to starting position. Repeat on left side and keep alternating.
5. Walking Plank Jack
Start in high plank position, feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend your right elbow to your lower right forearm to the floor. Lower your left forearm to the floor. Extend your right arm, then your left arm back to starting position. Then perform a plank jack. Repeat.
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