The plank is a reliable ab-builder, but you’ve been leaving a whole side of the position on the floor if you’ve only ever held it in its standard form. Flip your core workout around for a new spin on the old standard and get ready for even more ab engagement.
Trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S. uses a reverse plank position to make her ab workouts even more multifaceted. “This is a full-body challenger,” she says. “Chest, shoulders, [and] back [will be] firing to keep you up, hamstrings burning to keep the hips up, and of course the abs.”
To perform this particular variation of the reverse plank, which adds in leg raises, all you need is an open space to stretch out on the floor.
- Start in reverse plank. To do that, sit on the mat with your legs extended. Place your palms on the ground with your hands pointed backwards and slightly out. Press into your heels, lifting your hips toward the ceiling.
- Raise your right leg up, squeezing your core to maintain your position. Keep your leg as straight as possible as you lift it up, then lower it back down. Don’t touch the ground just yet.
- Bring your right knee towards your chest without dropping your hips. Continue to press down through your hands.
While the reverse plank isn’t a complicated position to hold, this variation is not an easy one to master. “This is an advanced exercise,” says Atkins. First, make sure that you can hold the standard reverse plank to start, then add the leg lifts. “If you’re still working on the reverse plank, start with a crab reach.”
To add the reverse plank with leg lifts to your workouts, use sets of 30 seconds on each leg or 45 seconds alternating. Try 3 sets without rest for a kill ab circuit.
By Brett Williams