Before you plank it out, we recommend warming up with our Oceanside Abs and a few cat/cow’s. (If your abs are still sleeping, your lower back can butt in and try to take over.) For cranky wrists, you can do these on your fists or with a cushion under the heel of your hand.
1) Oppositional reach
Start in a table position with your knees under your hips and your palms under your shoulders. Reach your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you on an inhale. On an exhale, pull your elbow and knee in towards your navel and round your back. Inhale to reach out again, finding a neutral spine. Do this this 5 times, switch sides, then repeat. The challenge of this exercise is to keep your hips and shoulders square the entire time.
2) Table to plank
Start in your table position, pressing your palms into the ground to activate your upper back. Step up onto your right toes, then your left to find your plank position. Then lower your right knee down, then your left. Do this 5 times, then switch directions so you’re leading with your left toes. After 5, take a rest and repeat, starting with the left this time. Again, keeping your hips and shoulders perfectly still will really work the abs.
3) Plank to downward dog
Start off in a strong plank position with your abs engaged and your tailbone tucked underneath you. On an inhale, shift your weight into your legs and lift your hips, finding a downward dog. On an exhale, lower back down to the plank, shifting your weight onto your palms and toes. Careful not to arch your back! Try for 2 sets of 5, resting in between if you need.
Bonus!: For more of a challenge, have one leg floating off the ground in your plank. When you shift to your down dog, lift that leg up towards the sky so you’re in a split.
4) Downward dog push-up’s
In your downward dog position, bring your index fingers and thumbs together to make a triangle on the ground. Keeping your hips lifted, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower the crown of your head towards that triangle. Do 5, rest, then do 5 more.
5) Plank to forearm plank
These are a fan favorite! Start off in your plank position, keeping your abs strong. Lower your right forearm to the floor, then your left so you’re in a forearm plank. Then press your right palm onto the floor, then your left so you’re in a full plank. Do 5, reverse the direction, take a break in a child’s pose, and repeat. (Once you’ve finished both sets, don’t hesitate to send hate mail to email@example.com.)
Author: Ali Weeks