In recent years, the plank has overtaken both of the OG core-strengtheners—the crunch and the sit-up—as the move for sculpting killer abs. “Your core is your body’s powerhouse, strengthening comes with so many benefits: improved stability, reduced back pain, and better posture,” says New York City-based dance sculpt instructor, Megan Roup, who is leading our next Well+Good Retreat in Miami this December.
But let’s face it, the core-shaking move may be effective at firing up your abs, but it’s so boring it’s basically the boiled egg of all fitness moves. (Don’t @ me, it’s true). That’s why Roup recommends a snazzy variation on the core classic, which she calls “the windshield wiper plank”.
To try it, start in a plank with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Bring your navel into your spine to protect your low back. You should be able to draw a straight diagonal line from head to toe. Place a hand-towel or sweat rag (or slider) under your right foot and keeping your left straight, sweep your right leg out to the right side like a windshield wiper.
The goal for flexible folks is to get the leg to shoulder height, but Roup says you should only go as far up-and-out as you’re able to without bending the leg. “Even if your leg only goes to the side a few inches, that’s okay, you’ll still be working your core, glutes, shoulders, and quads,” she says.
“I recommend doing the slider plank slowly. It doesn’t need to be frantic. Bring your leg up and out to the side on a count of two. Hold it there for two seconds, then bring it back down on a count of two,” suggests Roup. “Start with 8 to 12 reps on the right sight, then switch the towel placement and do the same number of reps on the other leg.”
To make the move harder, Roup says you sweep the leg out on a count of two, and then tap your foot for two or three reps, which will increase core activation.
Get even more core-sculpting intel from Megan Roup in person at our Well+Good Retreat in Miami, email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your spot.
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