So effective in its simplicity, the plank is an excellent exercise to strengthen your core. There are many great exercises to build core strength such as overhead squats, deadlifts, hollow rocks, l sits and squats. Adding different variations of the plank into your training will help you to attack your midline from new angles. Core strength will help to:
- Avoid injury
- Stabilise your spine
- Control and generate force effectively
- Stabilise movement
1. GLUTE PLANK
Also known as the glute bridge this plank focuses on the rear core muscles, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Start with your upper back on a weight bench or edge of a couch and bend your knees at 90 degrees having your back completely parallel to the floor.
Start by lying on your side. Push yourself up onto your forearm and the side of your feet so your body is parallel with a wall. Make sure both feet are directly on top of one another. Slowly raise your hips off the ground and tighten your oblique muscles until your body is perfectly straight. Avoid letting your shoulders roll or twist. In addition to your oblique’s, the side plank also stresses the abductors, delts, and lats.
The uneven plank is just as much of a core builder as it is a triceps builder. “Unlike the standard plank, you’ll lift one forearm off the floor,” says BJ Gaddour, “Now your arm is holding the bottom position of a pushup, which instantly activates your triceps.” The longer you hold the exercise, the longer your triceps will be under tension. And since you only have one forearm on the floor instead of two, your core has to work overtime to stabilize.