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Plank Exercise – 10 Minute Plank Workout

Why planks? Each move shifts your center of gravity and forces your abdominals, arms, back, and glutes to stabilize your body. Denver-based trainer Stacey Lei Krauss, the creator of a plank-infused cardio fitness program called the Willpower Method, designed this sequence, which includes several variations on the standard plank position. To get started, simply clear a space on the floor. Complete the entire cycle three times a week, taking 30 seconds between each move to roll your wrists and shoulders, and you'll achieve stronger muscles and a toned look without even touching a set of weights or (if you’re like Krauss, who prefers to go barefoot) donning a pair of sneakers.

Variation #1

Forearm plank with up-and-down hip raises (tuck your seat and engage your core – belly button to spine).

Variation #2

Forearm plank side lifts. Making sure your grounded elbow is directly under your shoulder, lift your hips in up-and-down pulses for 30 seconds, then flip to the other side and complete another 30 seconds.

Variation #3 Standard Plank

(A) Begin on all fours, with hands directly under shoulders, knees and feet hip-distance apart and fingers spread out. If you’re a beginner, rest on your forearms instead. (This also applies to all subsequent exercises.)

(B) Tuck toes underneath feet so that all 10 toes lie flat. Extend legs and push up hips so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to heels. Draw in your abs, squeeze your glutes, and keep your head in a neutral position that’s in line with your spine. Hold for 30 seconds.

Variation #4 Flutter Feet

(A) Start  in the standard plank position.

(B) Raise your right leg about three inches off the ground, point your toes out and keep your leg straight. Make sure to keep your torso still and carefully and quickly move your leg up and down 5 times, firm your glutes, hamstrings and quads. Go back to the starting position. This is one repetition. Repeat this 9 more times and switch to your other foot and do it 10 times

Variation #5 falling leaf

(A) Begin in standard plank position.

(B) With your abs engaged, rotate your right shoulder and hip up toward the ceiling in one fluid movement, twisting your feet so that the inside of your right foot and the outside of your left foot rest on the floor. Extend your arm so that it’s pointing toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position. Repeat four times, then switch sides and do five more.