We know there are heaps of types of exercises out there that are good for body and mind, but did you know that just ONE exercise is really all you need to tone every muscle in your body?

 

Yep, the humble plank is the magic move that tones your abs, bum, leg and arms – and best of all, you need no equipment and can do it anywhere, any time.

 

How to do the perfect plank

 

1. Roll a mat or towel on the floor and start on your knees with your forearms on the ground. Keep your palms flat and your wrists in line with your elbows.

 

2. Using your forearms to support you, lift your middle off the ground, and holding this position, walk your legs back until your hips and back are straight and in line with one another.

 

3. Tighten your abs and keep your back straight. Don’t dip too low or arch your back too high.

 

4. Hold this pose for as long as you can. Don’t worry if it feels like you’ve only been holding it for seconds – bit by bit your body will get stronger.

 

 

5 ways to make it more challenging!

 

The beauty of the plank is once you get a little more confident you can make it a bit more interesting:

 

1. Leg Lift

 

Try lifting your right leg and holding it. Then do the same with your left. This will give your obliques an extra workout. Do 10 reps of each and build as you get stronger.

 

2. The Lift Up

 

Lift up onto just your hands so you don’t have that extra support from your forearms.

 

 

3. Superman

 

Go back to normal plank and lift up your left arm like ‘Superman’ and hold it, while lifting up your right leg at the same time. Alternate with your right arm and left leg. 

 

4. Plank to Push Up

 

From you normal plank position raise yourself by lifting your forearms one at a time. Return to your starting position slowly. That is 1 rep.

 

5. Plank Jumping Jacks

 

From your normal plank position jump your feet out to the sides ensuring your upper body doesn’t move. Swiftly kick back to your starting position. That is 1 rep.

 

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