Tip: This Plank Isn't For Pantywaists

Got two minutes? Drop to the floor and try this challenge!


Are you still busting out traditional planks like your life depends on it? Well, hovering a few inches off the floor on all four limbs probably isn't going to get you where you want to be.

Sure, the plank is one of the most basic core exercises for developing muscular endurance. And while there's a lot of evidence this can help with low-back pain and posture, most of life doesn't happen when you're planted statically on your toes and elbows.

Try increasing the intensity of your planks by adding load and throwing in an anti-rotation component. Resisting extension and rotation will carry over far better to just about everything, from walking to landing a right hook. Do this drop set:

  • A1. Iso Row Plank (left): 10-30 seconds
  • A2. 3-Point Plank (left): 10-30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • A3. Iso Row Plank (right): 10-30 seconds
  • A4. 3-Point Plank (right): 10-30 seconds

Rest for just 30 seconds between A2 and A3, but for everything else go straight from one set to the next. Then after A4, rest as needed before you start the whole thing all over again. Do three rounds.

This move will also hit those obliques and QLs (quadratus lumborum) harder too. With an iso row plank, using a wider stance will allow you to use more weight, but feel free to go narrower if you're chasing more instability.

Start with the weight, drop it, then keep holding. It's that simple.

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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