• Ben Banbury

5 Plank Variations To Level Up Your Core Strength

Planks are by far the most effective exercise to tighten your stomach muscles and create hard abs. Here are 5 plank variations to up your core game and keep your body guessing PLUS a Primal plank challenge for you!




First things first, planks are amazing for you!


I know when I mention planks (just like all of my Bootcamp members!) you softly groan and roll your eyes


BUT!


Planks are the most effective exercise to tighten your stomach muscles and develop that strong set of abs I know you want so badly


And I'll be honest. There were few people alive who hated planks as much as I did


Squatting until I felt light-headed, or performing pull-ups until I got motion sickness was nothing compared to the thought of a 30-second plank


(Cue eye roll)


Interestingly it wasn't until I started doing planks on a regular basis that I really started to feel a difference in my core strength


I'd do tonnes of crunches all week every week, but I'd never feel the same "pulling" sensation as I did with planking


You see there are 3 layers to the stomach wall and when we perform crunches we work the top layer


Planks are SO effective because they work the deeper core muscles. These are the muscles that when strengthened, pull your waistline in


(Ladies these muscles relax and go sleepy after pregnancy. Planks will draw them back in!)


For once in my life, I felt my abs tensing without me having to squeeze them and I felt them working harder doing day to day tasks and other exercises


Planking activated my deeper core muscles which caused them to "switch on" more and more!


This is something you simply can't achieve with conventional crunches!


So I've put together 5 plank variations from easiest to hardest, that I want you to start integrating into your workout at least twice a week


You hear me, twice a week MINIMUM


Let's begin!



1. Plank Heel Raises


Why? Plank heel raises will make you unstable


The more unstable you are the more your core will have to work to support your body weight


I also use them a lot with my clients who need to activate their bums more, as the kickback motion is waking up the glutes nicely


Just make sure you're not kicking too high that your poor back's heavily arching


The height the lady is kicking in the image is perfect! Kicking higher won't make it harder it will make it easier! Slow is the key here


Focus on pulling your belly button in and keeping that back lovely and flat and you're good to go!


Aim for 20 slow reps each set



2. Shoulder Taps


Another great way to make yourself as unstaple as possible


The reoccurring theme with any plank exercise is the speed or the rep


If you can perform 10 slow shoulder taps for a 3-second count, you'll get far more results than the people who slap their shoulders at a hundred miles an hour


You're not swatting flies remember


A little bonus for you as well. To level this variation u