Tip: A Core Exercise to Make You Cry

Or cuss. You choose. Check it out here.


Most good core exercises focus on maintaining a stable spine while your arms or legs perform some kind of movement. For example, maintaining a stable pelvis and spine while your arms and legs move when running.

Plank plate presses are an advanced plank variation that challenge your ability to resist rotation and spinal extension while one arm moves. Not only will they light up your core, they'll fire-up your shoulders too. Try them with a light plate, dumbbell, kettlebell, or even just a water bottle. You'll need to start way lighter than you think!

Plank Plate Press

  1. Place yourself into a basic front plank position with your feet just a little wider than usual. You can adopt a narrower stance over time as you improve.
  2. Brace your core – imagine 360 degrees of air around your spine and abs with glutes engaged.
  3. Grip the plate, lift your elbow off the floor, and press overhead keeping parallel with the floor. Resist any rotation through your hips or spine.
  4. Go for time (20-30 seconds each side) or reps (10-15 reps each side).

To make it even harder, simply bring your feet in narrower to reduce the base of support. You can also try using a heavier weight in your pressing hand.

Gareth Sapstead is a leading strength and physique coach from the UK. He specializes in problem solving and breakthrough training techniques.

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