The Right Way

This Move Works Your Arms and Core *and* Spikes Your Heart Rate—But Only If You’re Doing It Right

Allie Flinn

There are just about as many plank variations as there are alt-milks on the market. If you don't love static planks, but still want to get the benefits, a plank walkout may be exactly what you're looking for. It's like a stationary inchworm, but minus the push-up: you start from a standing position, reach your arms down to the ground and walk your hands out so that you're in a plank, then walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up. "I love this move because it really is full body. You get arms, core, and a little bit of cardio," says Colette Dong, founder of trampoline-based fitness studio The Ness.

As with any exercise, proper form is important both to prevent injury and reap the benefits. In this episode of The Right Way, Dong breaks down the three most common mistakes people make when doing a plank walkout. Then, she demos how to do a plank walkout the right way (*wink*).

Common mistakes when attempting a plank walkout:

1. You walk your arms out too far, and let your hips and shoulders drop.

When you walk your arms out too far, your hips and shoulders tend to drop, which puts a lot of strain on your upper body and lower back, says Dong. As you walk your hands out to a plank position, you want to make sure that your shoulders are right above your wrists and you're pressing down into the mat while engaging your core. Think about your body as one long line that's solid from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet.

2. You drop your knees too much on the way back, and let your hips extend forward.

This is a recipe for putting too much strain on your knee joints. When you walk your hands back toward your feet, really press through your heels. This will help keep your hips back and your knees in line with your toes.

3. You overarch your spine on the way back up.

This can put too much strain on your low back. "Press those heels down, keep those ribs connected towards those hips, and stand up nice and tall with a neutral pelvis," says Dong.

Now that you've learned the biggest mistakes, watch the video above to see Dong demo a plank walkout with proper form.

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