Even if you love planks, they can become a bit boring day after day. The good news: You have some options. You can either strive to extend the amount of time you can hold your planks — the current Guinness World Record is at one hour, 20 minutes and 2 seconds — or you can try these options that are sure to challenge even the most die-hard plank fan.
Think of these as lying jumping jacks: Get into a plank position on your forearms, propped up on the balls of your feet. Your abdominal wall should be engaged, your legs should be straight and your feet together. Keeping your upper body still, jump your feet about three feet apart and back together as if you’re doing jumping jacks. Do three sets of 10 reps.
Donkey Kick Planks
Get into a plank position on your forearms, propped up on the balls of your feet. Again, your abdominal wall should be engaged, your legs should be straight and your feet together. Shift your weight to one leg, bend the other leg and bring your knee in towards your chest. Then kick your foot back and up until your leg forms a perfect "L." Knee in and kick out 10 times and then switch legs.
Side Plank with Leg Raise
If you think side planks are tough, wait until you try these! Lie on your side and prop yourself up into a side plank by leaning on your left forearm. Keeping that elbow at a right angle, lift the entire left side of your body so that your left shoulder, left hip and left heel form a straight line. Your body weight is on the side of your left foot. Keep good form by contracting and holding your abs. Put your right hand on your right hip, elbow towards the ceiling, and then raise your right leg as high as you can and lower. Repeat 10 times and switch sides.
Adding these challenging upgrades to your workout will bring you closer to toned abs and a strong back. Good luck!
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