Just When We Thought We’d Tried Every Plank Out There, We Found the Hardest One Yet
Recently, Zoë Weiner, associate beauty and fitness editor at Well+Good, faced this move in a morning HIIT class. "I consider myself a seasoned plank-er, but this move was so, so much harder than anything I've ever tried before—including plank jacks and high-to-low planks," she tells me with lingering fear in her eyes. "My arms, legs, and core were quaking, and at one point I had to drop to my knees, which is how I knew it was working."
If you're up for the challenge, you'll first need to grab a pair of sliders and place them directly under your feet. Then, assume the push-up position and get ready to get down to business.
"My arms, legs, and core were quaking, and at one point I had to drop to my knees, which is how I knew it was working." —Zoe Weiner, associate beauty and fitness editor
"In many ways, it’s like a walking plank, in which your hands move one at a time in front of you while your legs slide behind you on the sliders," says Ivana Bolf, a trainer at Body Space Fitness in New York. "Knees should be off the ground the entire time, your spine should remain in a neutral position (AKA, no hips in the air), and elbows should not be locked out."
She adds that your number-one goal here is to keep your hips from swaying side-to-side too much, which would compromise your connection with your core.
"Seal walks will work your entire core, which inevitably will help stabilize your spine and prevent lower-back injuries," Bolf says. But keep in mind, there's always motivation you can tap when you're in extreme discomfort while seeing out your reps: Just picture those adorable Antarctic creatures, dragging along.
If you're not planked-out yet, try this "windshield wiper" variation and/or J.Lo's four-part plank series.
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