9 Dynamic Plank Variations for a Sexy and Strong Core

Woman doing a side plank

Sick of holding a plank in a static position for one minute or longer? Personally, I like watching videos in our new Runtasty app while planking so I can focus on the food and less on the burn! However, if “just holding a plank” during your workout is getting a little bit old, you’ve got to try these 9 dynamic plank variations.

What does a “dynamic plank” even mean? In this case, it means that you’re not just holding a plank, you’re actually moving. All of these exercises are plank-based movements and they give the rest of the muscles in your body some extra work as well. Yes, they’re still going to give you a strong core and those sexy abs, but perhaps they’ll seem a little less tedious than trying not to move like in a regular plank.

Don’t get me wrong, these exercises are challenging and will definitely make you sweat. But all you plankers know what I mean, sometimes it’s fun to switch it up.

Here are the 9 dynamic plank variations you’ve got to try:

1. Plank to down dog

girl doing plank to down dog

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This variation might remind you of yoga class. This plank variation is perfect for checking in with your body, especially the shoulders, hamstrings and calves. Make sure that when you lower your body down into the plank position, your feet, hips and shoulders are in a line (no sinking hips).

2. Side plank oblique crunch

girl doing side plank oblique crunch

Your oblique muscles run along the side of your stomach and wrap around your lower back. You cannot talk about shredded or six pack abs without mentioning the obliques. This move targets the obliques directly and really challenges your stability and control. Make sure your body is completely straight (i.e. if someone was looking at you from above, you would look like a straight line not like a V-shape with the butt pushed back).

3. Side plank knee to elbow

girl doing side plank knee to elbow

As if holding a side plank wasn’t enough, time to crunch it out! It’s not necessary to perform this move super fast. Slow and controlled can really do the trick. Be sure to exhale all the way on the crunch. Can you get your knee to touch your elbow? If not, go as far as you can.

4. Low plank twist

girl doing low plank twist

Pretend like you’re wringing out your abs like a wet dish towel. Remember that your hip should move towards the ground but not touch it. Be sure to maintain proper plank form and don’t let your hips sink down when performing the twist. You’ll get the most out of the move and the best range of motion when you keep your feet, hips and shoulders in a line.

5. Extended inchworm

girl doing extended inchworms

Get those hands out beyond your shoulders for a couple extra steps – you can do it! You’ll really feel your upper abs activate when you go just a little bit further. You don’t have to take giant steps with your hands, a little bit goes a long way.

6. Side plank taps

girl doing side plank taps

Working in some hip rotation and upper body stabilization while challenging the abs – this one is a winner! Don’t let that foot slam down on the ground, try to make the tap as quiet as possible. Don’t forget that your hand should be right underneath your shoulder.

7. High plank shoulder taps

girl doing high plank shoulder taps

During this variation, try to keep the rest of your body still while tapping your shoulders. When you rock from side to side and use momentum, your abs don’t have to work as hard…and we don’t want that.

8. Ultimate plank jacks

girl doing ultimate plank jacks

I made professional soccer players from SK Rapid Wien do this move and they loved (and hated) it! Talk about a cardio and coordination bomb. This move is an amazing fat burner. The quicker you move, the easier it is. If you let all the weight come down with your feet, it’s actually much more exhausting. Do your best to complete them as fast and as controlled as possible.

9. Reverse inchworm

girl doing reverse inchworms

Your hands stay in place and your feet do the walking. Don’t worry if you cannot walk your feet all the way to your hands, go as far as you can. But, be sure to really lift your hips up (pretend like someone is pulling you by a string up from your tailbone) in order to best challenge your abs and inch your feet closer to your hands.

Try these out and let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below. And to add more variety to your workout, check out these 6 squat variations you can add to your leg day routine.

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Lunden Souza Lunden is a Certified Personal Trainer and the Runtastic Fitness Coach. You can work out with her on the Runtastic Fitness Channel on YouTube or join her at one of the LIVE Workout Parties. View all posts by Lunden Souza »

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