Don’t Love Planks? Try This Simple (Yet Ultra-Effective) Core Exercise Instead
April 16, 2021 — 18:01 PM
While abs workouts and glutes routines are great in isolation—we’re all for moves that go double-duty, targeting both of these important muscle groups. This core exercise from fitness instructor Dino Malvone does just that—while keeping it accessible for beginners and gym buffs alike. Here’s how to do the move, plus tips, modifications, and the benefits you can expect to see with this effective exercise.
How to do all-fours core work:
- Get on all fours with shoulders stacked over wrists and hips stacked over knees.
- Extend one leg long behind you, keeping your form with hands under shoulders and your left knee directly below your hip. Shift your weight into the upper body but out of the shoulders.
- Flex your foot and drop your toes to the ground, then lift them back up.
- Pull your knee toward your same-side armpit, then extend the leg back out. Repeat, dropping your foot toward the ground and then bringing the knee into the armpit for 30 seconds. Keep your core engaged.
- After 30 seconds, extend your opposite arm forward. As you lower and lift your foot, lower and lift your hand, too. As you pull your knee in, draw your opposite elbow toward your ribs. Repeat while stabilizing through your core, continuing for 90 seconds.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Draw the belly button up and in to isolate your abdominal muscles and stabilize the low back.
- To incorporate your breath, inhale every time you extend your leg out, and exhale when you drop your foot and squeeze your knee into the armpit.
- When you extend your leg out, lift from where your glute meets your hamstring while keeping the hips level with each other.
- To make this move more challenging, you can perform it in a high plank, as opposed to on your knees.
- To make this move easier, don’t worry about adding the arm, and focus just on the legs.
- Flip one side of your mat in to allow for extra cushion if your knees are sensitive.
Not only does this move get your abdominal muscles fired up, but the lifting and lowering of your leg allows you to work your hamstrings and glutes. As you get more comfortable with this move, try extending your legs straight into a high plank to add an extra challenge for your arms and core.
Adding your opposite arm into the mix, if you choose to do so, will also help strengthen your arms, posture, and overall stability.
Because this move is on all fours, it’s a great alternative to plank exercises if you’re not quite there yet, but with time and practice, you’ll definitely begin to notice improvements in your core and glute strength.
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