10 Planks that Tone and Tighten



Last week nationally recognized distance coach, Corbin Talley, was telling me about the importance of strong abs for marathon training. He and his wife emphasized the importance of it ecspecially for women as they often lack strength through the mid section from child bearing.  So this week I thought I would throw up a few of my favorite planks to help get you race ready. I do these consecutively for 8 minutes.

Of all the ab exercises planks are my favorite.  They tone, tighten, and help tuck your muscles inward instead of outward.  The best part, is that no matter what your physical abilities are you can always do a plank.  First, start out doing it for ten seconds, then twenty, then thirty and so forth.  I always love a workout that can reach everyone, no matter their fitness level.

Today I’m doing my planks in my Cozy Orange yoga gear. We have found that yoga clothes make for great running, yoga, and everyday wear!

#1)  Traditional Side Plank: While up on your hand or down on your elbow, hold your body tight in the side plank position. Focus on not letting your hips sag.


#2) Side Plank with Reacher: While holding a side plank (as seen in #1), reach down and behind you. Then return to your side plank position with arm raised.

 #3) Alternating Knee to Chest Plank: While holding a plank, bring your knee up to your chest then return to the first position. Alternate knees.




#4) Hamstring Lift Plank: While holding a plank, lift your heel to the sky. Alternate legs.


#5) Plank with Arm Kickback: While holding a plank, lift one arm and bring it straight to your hips. Focus on keeping your core tight and balanced. Alternate arms. This can be done with or without weights.


#6 Traditional Plank: While on your knees or hands hold your body stiff in this position.


#7) Alternating Plank: While holding a plank, extend your right arm while lifting your left leg. Then switch to raising your left arm and your right leg.


#8) Bicep Plank: From the arm extended plank, lower yourself slowly down. Be sure to keep your entire body off the ground. Tuck your elbows into your ribs and hold.

 #9) Plank to Row: While holding the arm extended plank. Lift one are in a rowing movement. Alternate arms. This can be done with or without weights.


 #10) Knee to Elbow Plank: While holding the elbow plank bring your knee up to your elbow.  Alternate legs. Be careful not to let your body rock back and forth. Focus on keeping a stable core.

Good Luck!

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5 Responses to 10 Planks that Tone and Tighten

  1. Stacie January 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Great question!
    Q: How long should I hold each plank?
    A: I hold mine for 1 minute each and I do (or did, i’m 32 weeks pregnant now) the planks 3 times a week at the end of my workout. If one minute is too long, do each one plank for 30 seconds with little to no rest in between them.

  2. Jen May 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Hi – this is a great list. Thanks!
    How many reps do you do of each?

    • Stacie May 18, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

      Hey Jen! I hold each position for 1 minute each and I usually only do it once. So 10 minutes total without rest if possible. If you can go through the ten minutes more than once, do it! Thanks for reading!

  3. Elizabeth August 5, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    Oh I love this workout, thanks for putting it together and sharing! It will be a great addition to my regular cardio and strength training.


  1. Marathon Training Week 1 | At Race Pace - May 11, 2014

    […] Tuesday: Cross-train 20 min. I suggest building your “foundation” by doing a core-training workout. For example, try this workout 10 Planks that Tone and Tighten! […]

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