Don't expect to stare at the ground and hold the move for 60 seconds during these dynamic plank exercises.
Similar to how vanilla is the most essential ice cream flavor, planks are the most fundamental core exercise, and for good reason, too: The bodyweight exercise works your entire core, including the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips, and back. Before you groan about how boring it is to hold yourself in a high plank for 60 seconds, listen up. These dynamic plank exercises include dips, twists, and drops that will fire up your abs and keep you coming back for more. For a strong, defined, and supportive core, perform the dynamic plank exercise routine three times per week.
How it works: Perform each exercise back to back, with no rest between. Complete this circuit 3 times, resting 30 seconds between each circuit.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Side Plank Lift
Lie on your side. Position yourself on your bottom elbow and the side of your foot. Lift your hips in the air, forming a straight line between your ankles, hips, and shoulders. Brace your abs and squeeze your glutes.
With your weight supported on the elbow and side of the foot, lower your hips to the floor. Pause, and then return to the starting position. (Related: Why Side Planks are Basically the Best Obliques Exercise Ever)
Do not move your hips back and forth. Instead, move them up and down.
Do not lose the straight line from the shoulders, hips, and ankles.
Do not place your grounded elbow too high above your shoulder.
2. Plank with Hip Drop
Start in a forearm plank position with elbows under shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Engage quads, glutes, and core the entire time to form a straight line from head to feet.
Keeping upper body completely still, drop hips to the left. Return to starting position. Drop hips to the right and return to starting position to complete 1 rep. (You'll also want to try these abs moves that hurt so good.)
3. Twisting V-Up
Lie faceup with arms by sides. Engage core and lift left leg to about 45 degrees as you lift upper body off the mat, twisting from waist and reaching right arm to touch outside of left leg. Return to starting position and repeat, this time lifting right leg and reaching left arm to complete 1 rep. (Add the move to this 20-minute HIIT workout that will fire up your muscles and metabolism.)
4. Side Plank with Leg Lift
Lie on your side and position yourself on your bottom elbow and side of your foot. Lift your hips in the air, forming a straight line from ankles to shoulders, and brace your core.
While keeping your torso stable, raise your top leg without bending your knee. Do not let your hips drop. Return to starting position.
30 seconds each side
Don't allow your hips to drop. Maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
Do not let your torso move or sway from side-to-side as you raise your leg.
5. Plank with Leg Kick
Start in a forearm plank position with elbows under shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Engage quads, glutes, and core the entire time to form a straight line from head to feet. (BTW, the forearm plank is the core move you shouldn't skip.)
Lift left leg up to hip height, then kick out a few inches to the left. Come back to center and lower foot back to the ground. Repeat, this time lifting right leg and kicking to the right to complete 1 rep.