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A Simple Way To Take Planking To The Next Level

If you’ve been incorporating planks into your core workout routine, I’ve got a fun and easy way for you to mix it up: ball squeezes. Adding in this simple addition to your plank workouts will challenge your muscles differently than ordinary planks will. All you need to get started is an inflatable ball, yoga block or pillow. So grab one of those things and give these two plank variations a try!

Plank Routine Ball Squeeze

When doing your planks, place a ball, yoga block or pillow between your thighs and just above your knees. Squeeze the ball as tight as possible and set yourself up in a forearm plank position. While maintaining a neutral spine, hold your plank and the ball squeeze for 1 minute or as long as you can with while keeping good form.

Ball Squeeze with a pulse

For your second exercise, keep the ball between your thighs and come into a forearm plank position. This time, instead of keeping a tight squeeze on the ball, block, or pillow squeeze the ball and hold it for one second, release the squeeze on the ball and repeat. Do 15-25 squeezes then take a break.

Why is this such a great exercise to try?

Adding a squeeze will engage your adductors and inner quadricep muscles (the vastus medialis). You may also find that when you squeeze the ball you are able to activate the deeper muscles of your abdominal wall a little differently than you do when performing a regular plank.

Race Pace Jess

Race Pace Jess

Jess Underhill fell in love with running during a rough patch in life, a time period most people just refer to as middle school. Twenty-six years later that first runner's high she experienced continues to shape nearly every aspect of her life, including her career. She has a Master's Degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, is graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a UESCA Certified Run Coach. Most recently Jess launched Race Pace Run Club, a free virtual run club that welcomes runners of all levels from coast to coast and also meets in-person in NYC. She is an ambassador for Sparkly Soul Headbands