7 Plank Exercises That Will Destroy Your Core – Tom’s Guide

Man in a forearm plank position on an exercise mat in a bright room with fists clenched
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They say a strong core is the foundation of fitness and for good reason. A well-built core not only improves your fitness performance, but also provides a solid framework for daily movement and overall functional fitness. If you want to unlock your physical potential and develop a rock-solid physique, it’s time to focus on your core and abs.

Caroline Idiens’ has developed an exciting seven-move ab workout with a series of plank variations designed to target the major muscles in the core and abdominal area. The fitness coach’s dynamic training goes beyond surface-level exercises. When it comes to a well-rounded physique, it’s crucial to target the intricate network of muscles in the core and abs.

Get ready to ignite your core strength, engage your entire midsection, and redefine your fitness journey with Idiens’ routine.

7 plank variations for building a stronger core

This core workout offers exciting variations on traditional planks, using the arms for a full-body challenge. If you can, add some light dumbbells to the routine (check out the best adjustable dumbbells if you’re still working out from home), as this adds an extra level of resistance, further engaging the muscles and increasing the effectiveness of the exercises. improved. . Idiens recommends squeezing your glutes while planking for better form and results — keep this in mind when you start to get tired.

Front Raises and Cross Climbers

Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand at your side, palms facing your body, and raise both arms forward to shoulder height while keeping them straight. Then lower the dumbbells back down and immediately get into a plank position, alternately bringing each knee to the opposite elbow in a criss-cross climbing motion. Repeat this sequence for the desired number of reps.


Put your dumbbells aside for this exercise. Start in a plank position on your mat with elbows straight, shoulders over wrists and hips in line with your shoulders. Brace your stomach and lower your left elbow to the mat under your left shoulder, followed by your right. Pause in a plank position on your elbows, then press your left palm back onto the mat, followed by your right hand. Here’s what happened when this fitness writer did 90 command planks a day for a week.

Shelf reached

To perform plank reachs, start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line. Engage your core and glutes as you lift one arm off the floor and reach forward as far as you comfortably can. Maintain stability and avoid twisting your hips. Return your arm to the starting position and repeat on the other side, alternating reaching forward with each arm while keeping your core strong.

What are the advantages?

A strong core not only provides a stronger and fitter appearance around the abdominal area, but also improves physical performance in various sports and exercises. A firm core provides stability, allowing for efficient movements and reducing the risk of injury.

Keeping track of your core strength supports daily activities such as lifting, bending, and maintaining proper posture. In a study published by the Journal of occupational medicine and toxicologyresearchers found that a workplace intervention to improve flexibility and strength in trunk stabilizers or core muscle groups was successful in reducing worker injury.

There is no denying that having a strong core makes our lives easier in many ways. That said, it’s important to train all of our different muscle groups for overall strength and balanced development. So while ab routines are important, a well-rounded fitness regimen ensures optimal performance and overall fitness.

If visible abs are your goal, you should focus on your overall body fat percentage as well as training the abs themselves. Here’s how to calculate your body fat percentage and why it matters.

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Jessica is an accomplished fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love of keeping fit and nourishing her body with healthy and delicious food naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health. When she’s not testing the latest fitness products, like the latest running shoe or yoga mat to review, she’s writing news and articles about the best ways to build strength, age actively, female health and everything in between. Before that she wrote for a short time in local news, also wrote for Runners World UK (print and digital) and gained experience at global content marketing agency Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a huge fan of outdoor sports and staying active. When she is at home, she can run along the sea, swim in it or climb a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since living and working in London, she divides her time between strength training in the gym, trying out new fitness classes and looking for great running routes. Jessica likes to document this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere, where she loves connecting with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and enjoys learning more about this area from expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big believer in building a healthy relationship with food rather than taking on a restrictive attitude about it. When she is not eating or running, she also enjoys practicing yoga in her spare time as it helps her relax and improves her performance in other sports.

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