This Plank Circuit Is the Ultimate Ab Workout (And Only Takes 10 Minutes!)
Shred your abs with these five plank variations.
Photo: Ryan Kelly / DB10
With 10 minutes on the clock, holding plank after plank can feel like a lifetime. But this ab-blasting plank series from Daily Burn’s new DB10 program is designed to distract your body and mind. Think: creative combinations like the push-up to plank punch, or plyometric variations like plank jacks and plank-ups.
“The idea behind these combo moves is to pair dynamic movement with traditional planks to offer core strengthening with cardio benefits,” says Dara Theodore, one of the lead trainers for the DB10 program.
Borrowing moves from Theodore and CeCe Marizu’s 10-minute DB10 workouts, these ab exercises work every angle of your core — from your obliques to your traverse abdominis to your lower lats. (And they won’t skimp on your shoulders, arms and legs, either!)
Whether you’re running miles or doing deadlifts, engaging your core is the foundation for most workouts, after all. “Your core provides balance, stability and power in any workout as well as in daily activity,” Theodore says. Do these planks in one continuous flow, and you’ve got yourself a true ab burner that’ll also make you break a sweat. “Being aware of proper plank form and building core strength will allow you to reap the benefits of the dynamic movement, as you will be able to move faster and more fluidly,” Theodore adds.
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5 Plank Exercises for a 10-Minute Ab Workout
As with all of our DB10 workouts, aim to complete as many rounds as possible of the following exercises/reps in 10 minutes. When you move continuously through each exercise at a quickened pace, you’ll ramp up your heart rate and burn more calories. For the ultimate core finisher, we hold a side plank for 30 seconds.
1. Plank to Push-Up to Inchworm
How to: Get into a high plank position with your hands shoulder-distance apart and your shoulders directly in line with your hands beneath them. Engage your abdominals to avoid arching your back and lowering your hips (a). Perform two push-ups, letting your elbows flare slightly out to your sides at about 45 degrees. Squeeze your glutes and core throughout the entire movement, and maintain a straight line from head to toes (b). Walk your hands back towards your feet and come up to stand (c). Hop your feet forward and then hop them back out to a high plank. This is one rep (d). Do five reps.
2. Push-Up to Plank Jack
How to: Get into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-distance apart and your shoulders directly in line with your hands. Squeezing your glutes and core, lower your body down to the ground and press it back up. This is one push-up. Do one more (a). Next, bring your feet together and do four plank jacks, jumping your feet wide to each side and then hopping them back together. Avoid raising your butt (d). Do six reps.
3. Plank-Up with Diagonal Hops
How to: From the high plank position, bring your right elbow down to the floor and then your left elbow down to the floor for a forearm plank (a). Get back into a high plank by lifting your right forearm up and then your left forearm (b). Next, bring your feet together in a high plank and hop them diagonally to your right side. Hop them back out to high plank before hopping them diagonally to your left side (c). Do five reps.
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4. Push-Up to Plank Punch
How to: Get into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-distance apart and your shoulders directly in line with your hands. You can keep your feet a little wider apart to help you stabilize when doing the plank punch (a). Lower your body down to the ground, keeping your body in alignment and your elbows flaring slightly out to your sides (b). As you press back up, make a fist with your right hand and punch it out in front of you (c). Perform another push-up before making a fist with your left hand and punching it out (d). Do six reps.
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5. Side Planks
How to: Lie on your right side and place your right forearm on the ground. Engaging your core, raise your body up into a side plank, creating a straight line from your head to your toes (a). If you can, raise your left hand up towards the ceiling, gazing toward your hand. If you can’t, keep your left hand resting on your left hip (b). Hold the plank for 40 seconds and rest 20 seconds before switching sides.