5 Core Exercises That Are Better Than Regular Planks

5 Core Exercises That Are Better Than Regular Planks

By K. Aleisha Fetters | Article Featured on US News

Planks are great, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all of core training. After all, most people tend to just “hang” in them – which completely sells their results short. And, even when performed properly, planks only work one section of your core muscles – and only in one specific position.

However, to most effectively strengthen your core, you have to work all of your core musculature, and in a variety of movement patterns and positions, says Vancouver-based personal trainer Meghan Callaway. Here, she shares her favorite beyond-plank exercises that are guaranteed to hit your core muscles from every angle.


Rowing Machine Rollouts


Instructions: Stand in front of a rowing machine and bend forward at the waist to place your palms on the seat of the machine. From here, inhale through your nose and, keeping your arms relatively relaxed, extend them in front of you so that your body lowers into a plank position. Once your body forms a straight line from your head to heels, forcefully exhale and squeeze your core to fold your arms and torso back toward your legs. That’s one rep.


Single-Arm Plank + Single-Arm Banded Row

Instructions: Get in a plank on the floor, a few feet away from the end of a secured resistance band. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. With your feet spread hip-width apart and your hands spread shoulder-width apart and just in front of your face, brace your core and squeeze your glutes. Grab the end of the resistance band with one hand and, keeping your body and torso stable, row the band toward your chest. Perform all reps, then switch sides.

Band-Resisted Knee Tucks on the Roller

Instructions: Get on the floor on your hands and knees. Fasten a secured resistance band around your ankles and place them on a foam roller. Keeping your legs relatively relaxed so that the bulk of the tension is in your core, and your hands flat on the floor, tuck your knees in toward your body. Keep your core braced and glutes squeezed. Pause, then extend your legs as far back as you can. Do not let the band lose tension. That’s one rep. Perform with the band attached from both sides.


Ab Wheel Rollouts with Lateral Band Resistance

Instructions: Holding one end of a secured resistance band with one hand, get in a plank position with an ab wheel directly underneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Inhale through your nose, and keeping your core braced and glutes squeezed, roll your arms out in front of you to lower your chest toward the floor. Pause, then forcefully exhale to contract your core and roll your arms back to start. Make sure your back stays flat through the entire movement. Do not stick your butt up in the air. To decrease difficulty, perform this exercise on your knees rather than toes.

Quadruped Bird Dog + Single-Arm Row

Instructions: Get on your hands and knees on a bench. Grab a dumbbell with one hand, and lift and extend the leg of the same side behind you so that it is parallel to the floor. Keeping your core braced, row the dumbbell up toward your ribcage. Do not allow your back to hyperextend or body to twist. Pause, then slowly lower the dumbbell toward the bench. Repeat all reps, then switch sides.

If you’re looking for pilates in Hillsboro, Oregon, look no further than Balance Massage + Core Fitness Studio. We are a fully equipped massage and fitness practice located in downtown Hillsboro. Our core fitness studio features STOTT Pilates®, the gold standard in Pilates training, using specialized equipment. We offer 20 group fitness classes per week, including Zumba, Zenga, and Total Barre, as well as private instruction from our highly qualified team. Much of our massage practice is focused on injury recovery, relief from pain, and car accident and workers compensation rehabilitation. We also provide a variety of massage treatments purely for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Whether you enjoy the attention of one-on-one private training, or the excitement of a group fitness class, Balance Massage & Core Fitness Studio has the right training options to help you meet your fitness, physical therapy, and relaxation goals.

Balance Massage and Core Fitness Studio

233 SE Washington Street, Suite 103
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

Phone: 503.352.9685
Email: info@balance-mf.com