SPRINGFIELD, Mo Ky3's Paul Adler and Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness know the plank is one of the most popular exercises to tighten up the core. So, what are your options if it's tough to get down on the floor or you just don't like planks?
Core Off The Floor
Core training is about building your base and foundation. Everyone should include it in their workout routine but the most common core exercises like planks aren’t appropriate for everyone. If getting up and down off the floor is a concern for you, there are plenty of exercise options for you to do core work off the floor. Here are three example exercises.
Stability Ball Walk Out: Start by sitting tall on a stability ball with feet flat on the floor. As you walk your feet forward two to three steps, lean back on the stability ball. Pause and then walk back to your original sitting position. Be sure to keep your spine straight during the entire movement.
Woodchop: Hold a dumbbell, small medicine ball or even a water bottle in both hands. With straight arms bring the weight up over your right shoulder. Using the torso to twist and keeping your arms straight, chop diagonally across the body to bring the weight to lower left side of the body near your hip. Return to starting position and repeat for all repetitions before switching sides.
Good mornings: Hold a lightly weighted bar, dowel or broom handle across your shoulders (not your neck). With a straight spine and soft knees, hinge forward like you are bowing to someone (or yourself in the mirror). Return to a standing position, slightly squeezing your glutes at the top.
The key to all of these exercises is to keep your core braced throughout the entire movement. Brace your core by pulling your belly button into your spine, like someone is tightening your inner belt. Do these exercises for 1-3 sets, 10 – 12 repetitions per set two to three days per week.