The Best Plank You're Not Doing

Whether you're a gym buff or not, you're probably familiar with the plank—that core-strengthening, endurance-building exercise that every trainer and athlete swears by. And that's because the plank is super effective and basically guaranteed to deliver results. But that doesn't mean you won't get bored with it or can't improve on the classic bodyweight exercise. This variation adapts the plank into a handstand conditioning exercise. Getting your feet off the floor and onto a wall not only ups the difficulty, but it ensures that you can't cheat engaging your core. If you don't maintain that proper tension, you could fall flat on your face. Taking the plank vertical also results in more toning of the arms and shoulders and strengthens your back and rotator cuffs. In short, this move (which takes mere minutes) will tone and build everything from your hips to your head.

Build Up Your Strength

If the full set is too difficult, start out by mastering stage 1. Once you're confident in that, start working your way up the wall.

The Walking Wall Plank

Do three repetitions with 90 seconds of rest between each. And do them at the beginning of your workout before your arms wear out.

Stage
1

 

Get into the plank position, with your feet against the wall and your arms directly under your shoulders, fingers spread wide. Bring your feet up and press the soles of your shoes (or bare feet) against the wall. Breathing normally, tighten your core and hold yourself horizontally. Maintain this position for 10 seconds.

Stage
2

 

From the horizontal position, walk your feet up and your hands back toward the wall until your body is at a 45-degree angle. Engage your core again, tucking your tailbone in and squeezing your glutes. Hold for 10 seconds.

Stage
3

 

Walk your feet up (and your hands back) even farther, until just your toes are touching the wall and your shoulders are about covering your ears. This puts you into a handstand position. Hold again for 10 seconds.

Stage
4

 

Walk your legs and hands back down to stage 2 (holding for 10 seconds) then back to stage 1 (holding, again, for 10 seconds). That’s one complete rep. Give yourself a 90 second rest and then begin again.

Build Up Your Strength

If the full set is too difficult, start out by mastering stage 1. Once you're confident in that, start working your way up the wall.

Build Up Your Strength

If the full set is too difficult, start out by mastering stage 1. Once you're confident in that, start working your way up the wall.