Planks are very popular exercises implemented in functional workouts. For good reason: they engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Strong Core and Legs
Here is a little workout which alternates between plank and leg exercises. While you rest your core, you can work on your leg strength! Your feet are the base of support for your proper posture when standing upright. Stronger legs and hips improve your balance abilities.
5 Functional Exercises
Get started and add the following 5 exercises to your regular routines.
The little workout can be done at home or at the gym.
1) 20s Side Plank (each side)
This is a great exercise to develop your core strength and proper posture. It also works your glutes and improves your balance.
Start on your side on the floor, both legs extended. Lean on your lower elbow and forearm, prop your body up, making sure to keep your abs and glutes tight. Keep your body aligned from shoulders to ankles. Do not allow your hips to drop.
2) 5 Box Jumps
This magic exercise will not only increase your leg strength, but also make you more explosive.
Start standing in front of a flight of stairs or a box/ platform. Lower into a squat and jump off towards the platform. Try to land as softly as possible. This will be easier on your joints compared to a hard landing. Step down, repeat.
3) 30s Front Planks
This is another great exercise to improve your core strength and work on your alignment.
Start on your belly on the floor, both legs extended. Lean on your forearms, prop your body up. Same like in the side plank, keep your body aligned and avoid any drop in your hips.
4) 8 Calf Raises (each side)
Get better ankle stability and balance by building your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
Start on the edge of a step. Stand tall with your abs tight, your heels hanging over the edge (see pic). Raise your heels a few inches until you’re on your toes. Hold the position for 2 sec, then lower heels below step. Repeat. To keep your balance, start out doing the exercise next to a wall.
5) 6 Side Plank Leg Raises (each side)
With this plank variation your core strength and balance will be truly challenged!
Start out in a side plank position (see above), lift the top leg for a few inches. Hold position for 2 sec, then lower back to start. To scale it down, practice the move with a plank on bent legs. Extend the top leg for the lift.
These exercises work all the muscles you need to maintain proper alignment. If you do them regularly, you’ll find it easier to stand straighter with ease.
Start with 5 minutes of ‘As-Many-Rounds-As-Possible’ – complete as many repetitions as possible. Work your way up to 10 min of these very effective exercises.
Or add more repetitions/ time for each exercise to make it harder :o)