Planks, like chicken soup, are good for the soul. OK, maybe we just want you to do them because they truly target your core, especially the deepest part of your core called the transverse abdominis, or TVA. These are your deep abs that wrap around your waist. Having a strong core is important, because it helps support your spine, and you use these muscles for everyday activities like walking, twisting, even going to the bathroom.
You probably know the basics: regular planks on your hands, elbow (or prone) planks, and side planks, but there are tons of variations that will either bring the intensity or tone it down for modified moves that still burn your core. “Planks are a personal favourite of mine because there are endless modifications and variations you can try to increase or decrease the intensity and keep the movement interesting,” Kenzie Hayes, a coach for personal training platform Ladder, ACE-certified group fitness instructor, and personal trainer, told POPSUGAR. “They are beneficial at any stage of a fitness journey, and I believe everyone should work some sort of plank variation into their routine several times per week.”
Ahead, check out Kenzie’s favourite plank variations: one is foundational, three add an extra challenge, and two are modifications you can try if the others are too hard. Note that these are a list of exercises, not a full workout; we don’t recommend doing all these in a row, otherwise your core will be too sore to laugh. Instead, pick a couple and incorporate these into your workouts. Let’s get to planking, shall we?