Plank with Alternating Leg Lift
I know the thought of doing a plank for some is like being forced to hang out in room with stinky cheese, but it really is one of the most effective ways to train your abs, back, arms and legs. The best part of it all… you only need your own body weight. No gym or fancy equipment required… no expensive celebrity trainer DVDs… just you and the floor!
The plank (AKA hover) which is used in Pilates and Yoga is a pivotal isolation move that provides a variety of benefits from targeting your internal abdominal muscles to strengthening the lower back while improving your stability and balance. In this variation the legs have been added in. By lifting each leg you are now working the glutes and call upon the core muscles to work even harder to stabilize your entire body. One of my favorite moves! I incorporate this move in some variation in almost all my clients workouts.
- Get into the top of a push up position, (you can also do this move with your forearms on the ground) elbows directly under your shoulders and arms should be extended the entire time. Your legs will be extended straight behind you, feet hip-width apart. You want your body to be in as straight of a line as possible, shoulders to your ankles, and your core should be braced.
- Keeping your hips parallel to the floor, squeeze your glutes, quads and abs to raise your right foot a few inches into the air, fight the urge to rotate the hips and torso as you lift each leg.
- Hold for two to three seconds, than lower your foot. That’s one rep. Repeat with your left foot. Continue alternating for 12 to 14 total reps.
- As always, see your doctor first before starting any exercise or diet regime!