Train Your Core Like a Superhero With This Challenging Plank

·2 min read

LOOK, WE GET IT: The plank is not the most exciting exercise in the world.

Still, the ab training staple is a great way to hone one of your core's key functions, bracing, to help you build a stronger midsection and bulletproof your spine. The challenge, then, is finding new and novel ways to upgrade the basic plank to both make it more exciting and add new elements to make your training even more effective.

Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., has a variation just the right combination of challenge, excitement, and effectiveness for your next workout. The Superman alternating plank gives you the bracing element you'll find in a standard plank, then adds even more for a powered-up core training session.

"While here are plenty of plank variations out there, few challenge the anti-extension function of our abs," Samuel says. "That's where the Superman alternating plank comes in."

How to Do the Superman Alternating Plank

●Get into a high plank (pushup position), then walk your hands out beyond your shoulders, so that your palms are flat on the ground. You should be immediately fighting to keep your glutes and abs squeezed to maintain constant tension and to prevent your spine from arching.

●Lift one hand off the ground and raise it to shoulder-height (like you're Superman, flying though the sky). Hold the position for a beat, maintaining core tension to keep your hips and shoulders from dipping. This introduces an element of anti-rotation to the exercise as you fight to stay in the proper position.

●Repeat with the other hand, then alternate sides for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat for 3 total sets.

Best of all, this is a scalable move, according to Samuel. You can make the exercise more or less difficult, depending on how far your hand placement is from your torso (closer is easier, further away is more difficult).

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