NEW WAYS to train “OLD FAVES!!”

When you’re workout is geared to burn massive calories, train every major muscle group and produce great results, chances are you’re doing squats, push ups and planks.  If not, you should be!  If you think that can get a little boring, have I got news for you!  On day 17, we talked about beating boredom and brain burnout by mixing up your exercise routine… and that inspired me to bring you a bunch of NEW WAYS to Squat, Push up and Plank!  I bet you haven’t tried a lot of these – and quite possibly you’ve never seen some before!

For know, let’s start with the planks.  Stay tuned for my videos and posts for the squats and push ups!  To see a video demonstration of each plank, just click on the links below each description.

5 NEW ways to Plank:

1.  The Body Saw:  With this plank, begin from forearms and toes. Essentially, your action is to rock about 2 inches back and forth while keeping the entire plank line intact and navel pulled to spine.

2.  Toe tap planks:  While holding the plank position, one leg moves out to the side.  The toes can skim along the floor or the leg can be extended a few inches over the ground to advance the action.  You should really feel the glute on the leg that’s doing the toe-tap!


Single knee tuck plank: Starting from a forearm-based side plank, extend the top leg. The video shows how this looks with a bent bottom leg position and the more advanced straight bottom leg position.  Your action is to bring the top leg’s knee and top arm’s elbow together in a “crunch”.   Exhale as you bring the top leg and arm together and inhale as you extend the arm and leg fully.

4.  Double knee tuck plank:  From the fully extended plank position (based on hands and toes), use a towel on your hardwood or tile to create a somewhat “slippery” surface.  As you exhale, draw both feet in toward the chest while keeping the torso line straight.  Being tucked should feel like a challenging position!  Inhale and extend the legs back to your starting plank position.

5.  Kickback Plank:  From either a knees- or toes-based plank, set your knees or feet at a distance wider than shoulder width apart.  To increase challenge, With a light dumbbell in one hand, start with the upper arm parallel to  the torso.  Extend the arm in a triceps kickback, holding for a pause at the “top” of the action.

Thanks to Muriel for doing the demos for me today!

Your challenge for day 19/21 is to try three new variations of the plank!  Tell me what you think!!  Complete 1-2 sets of 10 (each side, where applicable!) for your 2 chosen planks.  After seeing the plank video, you’ll know that you ARE counting reps during your planks rather than using a timer!

I think you’ll like these – not only because they’re new, but because they fulfill so many categories of exercise greatness to keep you motivated.  They’re all…

  • Different = More fun!
  • Progressive
  • Boredom-busting, both physically and mentally!
  • Challenging
  • Effective

Remember all you shy challenge participants – you’re tallying up points when you post on the blog, so don’t forget to let me know which exercises you chose! Are there other variations of the plank that you like doing??  Please share!!