In my opinion the plank is by far the most effective training method when it comes to working the ENTIRE core. The core is comprised of so much more then just a pretty 6 pack, and because of the plank’s versatility we are able to isolate other areas of the core such as the hip flexors, low back, transverse abdominis, gluteus minimus, etc. Take a look at the YouTube video below to see my Top 10 Plank variations. It is important to note that you should be able to hold a classic, low elbow front plank comfortably for 60 seconds, before you advance to any of the variations. Be sure to follow my new YouTube page: Boss Sports Performance
#1 Side Plank Knee to Elbow:
Great for oblique work. This can be performed in low plank or high plank. In the high plank it will require more shoulder stability.
#2. Groin Side Plank:
Just like it’s name, the groin is being isolated in this particular plank.
#3 Reverse Plank:
Far to often in typical training programs the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, low back, etc.) is completely neglected. With the reverse plank you are forced to engage the entire posterior chain in order to perform the plank correctly.
#4. High Plank DB Tripod Row:
With the tripod row the athlete often times thinks it is just a back exercise not realizing they are fully engaging both hip flexors. To isolate one hip flexor at a time and to make this plank variation even more challenging use your glute to lift the leg opposite of the arm doing the row.
#5. Leg March:
Much like the Tripod row this plank is performed to isolate the hip flexors one at a time.
#6. Alternate Reach Plank:
There are several ways to add different degrees of difficulty to this plank. Similar to the tripod row you can use a light dumbbell to raise it into a front raise. You can also use a band attach one side to an anchor point and grab the other end and pull your elbow to your ribs in a pull up motion.
#7. High/Low plank Push-Up:
All the benefits of a push up with just added core engagement.
The superman plank is the plank variation that I use the most with my athletes. The reason I like it so much is because I think it does the best job of encompassing the entire core.
#9. Side Plank Top Leg Taps:
This plank is used to strengthen all areas of both hips.
#10. High Plank Knee to Opposite Elbow:
This is another great option to work the obliques.