Plank Workouts

Holiday Abs

No, the title is not an oxymoron! I know it seems so hard to keep your workouts up during this busy time of year; here’s another at-home workout you can do in between wrapping presents. I like to do a “cardio sandwich” on either side of these moves, so I’ll jump rope for about 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end. Or hop on my treadmill. December is busy for all of us! I’m trying anything I can to get in a workout these days.

Also a few instructors from CST50 (the megaformer class I take) Told me when I can’t make it to class –hold  planks for at least 2-3 minute intervals. This keeps your core engaged, and strengthens shoulders,wrists and arms. This is hard! Especially after 3-4 intervals.

I usually try to do 4 rounds of each exercise. And because I’m the queen of efficiency (at least in my own mind) all these moves target arms as well.

1. Spiderman plank crunch

•Start in a high plank position with your body perfectly straight.
•Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.
•Alternate by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow.
•One per side is one rep. Alternate sides for a total of 10 complete reps.

2. Plank Ups

•Start in high plank. Drop one arm to forearm to the floor.
•Bring the other arm down so you are in a forearm plank.
•Push back up to the start position, placing each hand where your elbows were.
•Repeat this movement, alternating which side you lower first.
One time up and down is one rep. Complete 10 reps.
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3. Down Dog Taps

Start in down dog.
Lift your right hand off the floor and tap your left ankle.
Return right hand to the floor and repeat with the opposite arm. Remain in down dog throughout entire exercise.
Touching right then left is one rep. Complete 10 reps.
4. Abdominal Hold 
(iThis move looks as crazy as it is hard.)

Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair.

Place your hands on the edge with your fingers pointing toward your knees.

Tighten abs and bring your toes a few inches off the floor, lifting your butt off the chair.

Hold this position for as long as you can — try to start at 10 seconds.
Lower yourself down and repeat.
Continue for 1 minute.
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5. Planks

Planking is one of the best core exercises you can do; it targets almost every single abdominal muscle you have! I’m trying to work up to holding a plank for 3 solid minutes. The key when planking is to draw your belly button IN and UP toward your spine, and make sure your body is in a straight line. I like to do this in front of a mirror so I can check my form. Try starting out with 5 sets of 30 seconds each time. Work up to a 3 minute hold!

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