Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: plank step in and outs.
You’ve nailed the five-minute plank challenge, so what comes next? How about making it move. By making the core exercise dynamic you help to improve stability, work deeper into the abdominal muscles and improve the functionality of the workout. Because planks are impressive, but core strength for life is essential.
What is a plank step in and out?
A plank step in and out, otherwise known as a plank toe tap, is done in a high plank position and involves tapping one foot at a time out to the side.
This exercise is great because:
It is functional: making the plank dynamic means we can apply that skill to the real-life activities like walking, running and bending in which we need our core to be strong while we move.
It engages the obliques: by adding the lateral movement into the exercise, which a standard plank doesn’t.
It improves stability: your body will have to stay strong as you transfer your weight between your feet.
What muscles do plank step in and outs work?
A plank step in and out targets the core, which includes:
- Rectus abdominals
- Transverse abdominals
- Hip abductors
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How to do plank step in and outs
- Come into a high plank position with your legs stretched long behind you. Keep your hands wide and let your fingers take the weight of your upper body.
- Squeeze the belly button to the spine to engage the core.
- Slowly lift your left leg off the floor, ensuring your hips don’t tilt to the right and take your foot wide, tapping your toes to the ground.
- Bring your left foot back to centre and repeat on the other side.
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Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).