Superman’s Alternate Plank Exercise Trains Your Core 2 Ways

WATCH, WE UNDERSTAND: The plank is not the most exciting exercise in the world.

Still, the core of ab training is a great way to hone one of your core’s key functions, bracing, to help you build a stronger midsection and protect your spine. So the challenge is to find new ways to improve the base plank to both make it more exciting and add new elements to make your workout even more effective.

men’s health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS, has a variation just the right combination of challenge, excitement, and efficiency for your next workout. The Superman Alternate Plank gives you the bracing element you’ll find in a standard plank, then adds even more for a basic, energized workout.

“While there are many variations of planks, few question the anti-stretch function of our abs,” says Samuel. “That’s where Superman’s alternate board comes in.”

How to Do the Superman Alternate Plank

●Get into a high plank (push-up position), then reach your hands past your shoulders, so your palms are flat on the floor. You should immediately fight to keep your glutes and abs tight to maintain constant tension and prevent your spine from arching.

●Lift one hand off the ground and raise it to shoulder height (as if you were Superman, flying through the sky). Hold for a beat, maintaining core tension to keep your hips and shoulders from dipping. This introduces an anti-rotation element to the exercise as you fight to stay in the correct position.

●Repeat with the other hand, then alternate sides for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat for 3 sets total.

Even better, it’s an evolutionary move, according to Samuel. You can make the exercise more or less difficult, depending on the distance between your hands and your torso (closer is easier, farther is harder).

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