PLANKS, POWERED UP
A calorieburning routine that will majorly trim your middle.
From barre class to boot camp, planks are everywhere – and that’s because nothing beats them for strengthening your core, says US trainer Kira Stokes, creator of the Stoked Method, a high-intensity training system. “The core muscles [including abs, back, and glutes] power all of your body’s movements,” Kira says. “Firming them up will improve your performance, prevent injury, and make daily activity feel easier.” Plus, cinch your waist.
But a static plank doesn’t rank high on the calorie-burning scale, so for this HIIT quickie, Kira cooked up moving versions that let you burn while you firm, and added plyometric bursts to fire things up even more. Your mission through each of the three mini circuits: “Keep moving so your heart rate stays up and you boost your metabolism,” she says.
And make sure your planks are on point: First, your hands or forearms should be directly below your shoulders. Roll your shoulders back, draw your navel in towards your spine, squeeze your glutes (so much so that your butt looks flat), and tuck in your pelvis so it’s in line with your hips, says Kira. “This protects your spine and helps you better engage the glutes, so you firm your backside as well as your abs,” she explains.
Finally, engage your quads and push through your heels to lengthen your calves. Got your form in check? Good. Now you’re ready to (re)meet the plank.