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melanie@melaniekotcher.com

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5 Intense Fat-Burning Plank Exercises

October 30, 2019

Plank variations are some of the most effective ways to burn fat, boost metabolism, and tighten/tone your core muscles. Another great benefit? No equipment or sneakers needed (except for a yoga mat to protect your forearms and knees). 

 

Here are my top 5 plank exercises to keep your core strong and toned as we slowly make our way into the holiday season: 

 

 

1. Side plank with hand weave

 

  • Start in a plank on your hands with your feet about hip-width apart.  

  • Place your right hand toward the center of the mat (closer to your left hand) and twist open to a side plank, extending your left arm up to the ceiling. Option to stack both legs or even lift your left leg slightly. 

  • Weave your left hand under your waist as you turn in looking down towards the mat for a side crunch and then extend your left arm back up to the ceiling in your side plank. Repeat 3x. 

  • Take tiny side crunches on the 4th “weave” pulsing and twisting further with your left hand under your waist, really carving out your obliques. Pulse 10x. 

  • Extend your left arm back up to the ceiling in your side plank, and then return to your plank on both hands. Repeat on the other side, placing your left hand towards the center of the mat, twisting open to a side plank on the other side, and extending your right arm up to the ceiling. 

 

 

2. Forearm plank knee taps 

 

  • Start in a forearm plank with your shoulders right above your elbows and hands in line with your elbows. Zip your legs together, including your feet/heels. 

  • Start by bending your right knee and tapping your knee down to the mat and right away extending your leg after the tap. Repeat with the left knee. 

  • Alternate knee taps and pick up speed. Repeat for 10-15 sets. Option to swivel your hips and bring your knee across your body on the knee taps. 

  • Can also zip legs together and tap both knees at the same time, remembering to keep heels together the entire time. Repeat for 10 sets.

 

 

3. Push-up leg lifts 

 

  • Start in a plank on your hands with your legs zipped together. 

  • As you lift your right leg up to the ceiling, bend your elbows slightly to start a tiny push-up. Return your right leg down just a tiny bit still hovering off the mat as you extend your arms. Repeat so that you are taking tiny push-ups as your leg pulses up and down, hovering off the mat the entire time. Repeat 10x for one leg. 

  • Repeat on the other side. 

 

 

4. Spiders with optional push-ups

 

  • Start in a plank on your hands with feet hip-width apart.

  • Lift your right leg up to the ceiling, turn your right hip outwards and bend your right knee as you bring that knee up towards your right elbow. Keep that knee hovering off the mat and then return your foot to your plank position. Repeat with your left leg. Total of 10 sets. 

  • Option to bend your elbows when your knee taps your elbow and then extend arms as leg goes back into plank for tiny push-ups as you take your spider exercises. 

 

 

5. Forearm plank slides 

 

  • Start in a forearm plank with your shoulders right above your elbows and hands in line with your elbows. Zip your legs together, including your feet/heels. 

  • Shift forward on your toes, bringing your shoulders forward past your elbows, and then press your heels straight back, keeping your body in one straight line. Keep legs and feet/heels zipped together and seat in line with the rest of your body (making sure your seat doesn’t rise on the heel press back like a downward facing dog).  

  • Repeat 10x. 

 

 

Feel free to switch up the order and make these plank exercises your own. Add advancements as you progress with more practice.

 

Would love to hear what you think! Love seeing all your comments and progress. Keep up the hard work! 

 

 

xo, 

Melanie

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