You’ve probably heard of the plank exercise by now – if you haven’t, check out my 28-day plank challenge.
The plank exercise is one of the most beneficial and effective bodyweight exercises out there. It strengthens the core, increases metabolism, improves balance and flexibility and forces you to have better posture.
But did you know about the many variations you can do with a plank? Some variations, like the one I am going to show you today, can be used to increase the difficulty or target specific muscle groups.
The reverse plank is one variation I am quite fond of. It strengthens the core and abdominals, but also hits the postural back muscles, glutes, and hamstrings. It can provide even better results than the typical standard plank, and is incredibly easy to get into.
Along with this exercise, staying active 4-5 times a week (even walking for just 30 minutes a day) will dramatically improve the shape and tone of your body. This doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym and work your butt off (quite literally) for 3 hours a day. As I mentioned above, walking, or light jogging can keep the weight off – lifting weights is another great option.
By adopting the reverse plank into your workout routine, you can almost guarantee that you’ll start seeing more tightness and definition in your hips, glutes, and abdominal area.
How To Reverse Plank
You want to make sure when you’re doing this exercise to get into proper form. If you feel your hips sinking towards the ground, get back into the original position and readjust yourself.
As you become more comfortable in the exercise (say after 1-2 weeks), you can increase the difficulty by adding some weight (such as a weighted vest), or by resting your weight on one leg instead of two.
If the reverse plank is too difficult, however, you can always perform it on your forearms instead. But don’t stay here for long – it is only to help your body get stronger until you can execute the exercise in its entirety.
1. Start by sitting down on the floor, hips flexed, with the knees and legs extended out in front of you. Place your palms on the floor and spread your fingers for support.
2. Lean back so that your torso begins to form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Keep your hands behind your hips, in line with your shoulders.
3. Supporting your weight on your hands and heels, lift your hips up so that your body is straight (glutes and core remain tight). Visualize your belly button being sucked in towards your spine.
4. Hold the position for 15-60 seconds.
5. Slowly lower yourself back to the original position. Once you hit the floor, repeat again.
6. Perform 3 repetitions and 3 sets, 3-5 times per week.