This week we are talking about a fun twist on a classic core move. Planks were featured in my first ever #MoveItMonday and are arguably one of the best core strengthening exercises you can do. Today, we're going to take that basic move and kick it up a notch, discuss the benefits of plank walks, how to do them correctly and of course, a weekly challenge to get you up and moving (or rather, up and planking)!
Why plank walk?
Obviously, as we've already discussed, planks are a tremendous workout for your entire core. No doubt that hanging out in a plank will tone your core and your shoulders might feel it a bit too. Planks walks are a great alternative plank to incorporate because not only is your core working hard but you are hitting more of the upper body including muscles in the chest, shoulders and arms much harder during the walking plank.
Planks walks are also great because, let's face it, holding a plank for a minute alone can get a little boring. Adding in the up down element of the plank walk makes the move a little more versatile, a little more fun not to mention you're a little less likely to be staring at the clock because you're preoccupied with the additional movement.
Lastly, if you find push-ups difficult (guilty!), incorporating plank walks into your regular workout routine will help you work towards perfecting your push-up as well. You're working all the right muscles to stabilize your core and strengthen your chest and shoulders that will put you on the right track towards nailing those push-ups.
How do you plank walk?
Depending on who you talk to, plank walks can be done either by walking side to side in a straight arm plank or alternating between a forearm and straight arm planks. For the purposes of this post, we're talking about the up-down version.
To get set up, you'll start in a prone (face down) position just like you would in a traditional plank. Place your forearms on the floor/mat beneath you, elbows directly underneath your shoulders with the rest of your body in one straight line from your shoulders to your toes (or your knees). I actually suggest beginning this exercise in a plank with your knees down to start. It's a tough move and knees down is an excellent starting point before progressing to your toes.
Once set up, you'll push yourself up into a straight-arm plank one arm at a time keeping the rest of your body in that rigid straight plank position. After you're in high plank, you'll continue the movement by lowering back to a forearm plank and back up to high plank alternating the lead arm every time you cycle through each rep.
After a couple rounds on your knees, try the progression to your toes and see how that feels. If your hips are swaying to much or you cannot keep the rigid straight line of your body in plank (hips sagging low or butt raised higher than hip level), come back to your knees and continue the move in a modified position for the duration of predetermined reps or time.
Plank Walk Challenge
Your plank walk challenge for the week will be timed. Set your timer for one minute and see how many reps you can complete within the allotted time. Try this once or twice more throughout the week and see if you can beat your initial number. You can also challenge yourself by increasing the amount of reps you can do within that minute on your knees versus toes.
Tag me on Instagram (a.blended.balance) if you take on #MoveItMonday Plank Walk Challenge! I'd love to see how you're doing and cheer you on!
Until next Monday, happy plank walking!!