plank workout

There hasn’t been much pumpin’ iron on pumps ‘n iron, so it’s high time I change that with this quick (but tough) plank workout. And I had so much fun putting this post together (an early morning workout on an empty beach is my idea of bliss) that I can confidently promise regular workout blogs from here on out.

Before a long run I always like to do a short-and-sweet abs workout to get that pesky core burning, and this plank workout I invented has become a standard go-to. If you’re anything like me, this is also a great upper body workout (I always find that my arms/shoulders fatigue long before my abs when doing planks).

Plank Workout

Do each of the 6 moves for 20 seconds. Repeat entire 2-minute circuit 3 times, taking a 30-second break in between each round. Depending on your level of fitness, you can decrease or increase the interval length. I do 20 seconds of each, but am slowly working myself up to 30 seconds (which would result in a 3-minute round).

  1. Plank Jacks: In plank position, jump your legs out wide and then back in to standard plank position. It’s essentially a horizontal jumping jack.
  2. Reptile Plank: Bring your left knee (bent out to the side and parallel to the ground) up to your left elbow, crunching your obliques. Repeat on the right side. (I’ve also seen this called the Spiderman Plank.)
  3. Plank: I’m going to go ahead and assume you know how to do this one.
  4. Elbow Plank: Ditto.
  5. Up-Down Plank: I know there’s a pretty name for this plank variation in the fitness industry, I just can’t seem to think of it. Essentially, you’re starting in an elbow plank position and, one arm at a time, going up into a regular plank position, then back down into an elbow plank…and so on. Just remember to alternate the arm you’re leading with.
  6. Cross-body Knee Tucks: In plank position (no surprise there), tuck your right knee across your body to your left elbow. Repeat on the other side.

For your convenience (and pinning pleasure), a visual tutorial of the above planks:

After shooting the tutorial for this little workout, I have a whole new respect for people in fitness magazines who have to demonstrate any sort of plank form. The position is so punishingly unflattering to the badonk. In correct plank form, your butt should be down, in line with rest of your body. The photographic result is a back that just seems to melt right into the ankles. Bye-bye, whatever little white girl booty I may have had.

{workout tank: Victoria’s Secret Sport}

If you try out this workout let me know what you think! What interval length did you use?



  1. 50 plus says:

    Beautiful setting!

  2. love your backdrop !

  3. OMG I think I love you! Those photos are frikking awesome!
    And you did all that planking in a pink top. Love it. Going to inflict some of these on my yoga students tomorrow 🙂

  4. Reblogged this on Yoga in Melbourne and commented:
    This lady has inspired me to do even more variations than usual on plank! Love it!

  5. Susan T's Kitchen says:

    Great Plank workout! Who needs a gym!

  6. Cathy Garrett says:

    Thanks for this!!! Loved it! I used one minute for planks and 20 reps for the other. Really good core workout.

  7. I’m new to planking and so far LOVE IT! This tutorial helps even more. You’re awesome!

  8. Love this plank workout girl! Came across your blog last week and love your interesting workouts! These planks kicked my booty, err.. arms and stomach I mean, this morning. Look forward to trying the others. xo. Brooke

  9. Nicole, I just completed three sets at 20 seconds. This worked me over! I wasn’t expecting to work up quite a sweat. Should have done these when I worked out earlier! lol Keep up the great work! 🙂


  1. […] By Nicole – […]

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