These multi-planar planks from our expert, Justin Greer, are more than core. They’re great for overall strength and stability too.
The plank is still a no-fail strengthening move, but gone are the days when we used to force ourselves into a position and then hold it for an indefinite amount of time (one one-thousand, two one-thousand…). We now know that it’s better to ease your way into exercise with more dynamic movements and warm up safely in just a few minutes. The 5-plank core-strengthening movements in this series will help you develop scapular protraction, engage your core (creating a stronger 'wrap' around your midsection), open your hips, activate your glutes and improve your flexibility—all while testing your mobility, balance and stability.
Perform up to 3 sets of this workout (with a 30-second rest between each), focusing on your form, alignment and breath, rather than quantity or speed.
1) SIT OUT-
The sit out will put a new twist in your plank and places an emphasis on shoulder and hip mobility while placing a target on oblique and intercostal muscles through this transverse plane.
2) CROSS PAW-
This down dog plank position brings into extension an often tight hamstring and anterior tilted shoulder. This Primarily brings the posterior deltoid and back into flexion.
3) COBRA TOE TAP-
The cobra toe tap will relieve tension in the lower back and hip flexors while increasing flexibility. Moving through this plane will also increase overall balance and hip mobility.
4) POSTERIOR PLANK-
With much of our culture having a sedentary lifestyle or working in a fixed position at a desk or seat of some sort, this position may quite possibly be the most beneficial. Bringing you back to an isometric hold we flip the plank upside down. By doing so, we are giving attention to the often-neglected posterior chain. By forcing your hips up and shoulders back this move is sure to begin corrective posture therapy.
5) SIDE TWIST STAR-
There is a considerable amount of strength required in your hips and core to keep your hips from sinking down in this position. These muscles are often used in lateral and transverse planes. NOTE: these planes are often underutilized. Don't worry when you find this position hard to hold, odds are you have a two-dimensional training regimen.