If you’ve only ever held a basic plank, it’s time to expand your core repertoire.
Standard plank position shouldn’t be your end all, be all move to work your abs; it should be a starting point. There are tons of variations to experiment with to mix things up, from elevations to leg lifts to rows—but to begin, lift your workout with plank walk-ups.
Don Saladino, the trainer who has helped shape the bodies of superhero stars like Ryan Reynolds, Sebastian Stan, and David Harbour, often has his clients perform plank walk-ups to kick-off core sessions.
“I love this exercise because it teaches people to stabilize through their core while moving dynamically,” Saladino told Menshealth.com.
To perform the move, assume a plank position on the ground—weight on your elbows and forearms, straight spine, squeezed glutes, on your toes—with your palms facing down. Lift yourself up one arm at a time and straighten your your elbows until you are in a pushup position. Maintain your spine’s alignment and keep squeezing your glutes. Lower your elbows back down to the ground, one arm at a time.
The key to the walk-up is keeping your form steady, even while you’re going between positions. “Maintain a rigid trunk with high tension while you move,” advised Saladino.
There are more benefits to plank walk-ups than just a killer core burn. You’ll also be working on the building blocks for another basic, essential move, according to Saladino.
“We’re also learning to stabilize our shoulders and scapula,” he said. “This is a great variation for anyone working toward a pushup before they actually can do their first one!”
To hone your core and pushup form, add plank walk-ups with three to four sets of five to eight reps to your workout. That way, you’ll be more than just basic.