Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks… and do planks! Did you know that?! These plank variations will help you get in on the amazingness of Planksgiving this year! Here’s why you should celebrate:
Here are 10 amazing, Thanksgiving-plate-licking reasons why you should be thankful for the plank:
- No equipment needed
- Improves your posture
- Promotes a flat belly
- Works more than just your core
- Reduces back pain
- Burns calories
- Builds strength
- Can do anywhere
- Bonus: fights holiday stress and weight gain
Just being thankful in general can lower your stress levels and help your waistline, so why not be thankful for this magnificent exercise?
How to Celebrate Planksgiving
To celebrate Planksgiving, perform these 12 exercises the week leading up to (or at least day of) Thanksgiving. Make the kids do them when they get rowdy and need to burn off some of that
sugar apple pie. Challenge the family “arm chair quarterback” to prove his/her skills with these Planksgiving exercises. For my social friends, take a picture of yourself planking and add #planksgiving to remind your friends that you earned that extra helping of stuffing, and they can too.
Speaking of Stuffing…
It’s the time of year when we start to add insulation, and although it’s nice to be warm, it’s also nice to be healthy. Want to splurge? Workout beforehand. Fill up on protein and veggies first. Eat slowly, and don’t eat until your pants need to be unbuttoned.
No excuses. Your health matters, and all of these planks can be made easier– do them on the couch, a chair, or a wall. The more upright you are, the easier it will be!
How To Do A Plank
- Start out lying on your stomach with your hands flat on the floor, directly below your shoulders
- Have your legs out straight and toes curled under
- Press your hands into the floor, squeeze your core, and come up into a straight arm plank position
- Don’t allow your hips to sag or your butt to come up
- Think about squeezing your core and drawing your belly button in towards your spine, and pressing your hands into the floor the whole time
- Try to keep your head and neck in line with the rest of your spine
- You can do most of these on your forearms, too, just place your elbows directly underneath your shoulders!
How To Do A Side Plank
Some of these waist-whittling exercises are in the side plank position. Get on your side, with your feet stacked or your top foot slightly in front of the bottom. Position your elbow directly under your shoulder, with your forearm on the ground. Press your forearm into the floor and squeeze your side. This can be made easier by bending both legs, keeping your feet behind you, and coming up on your bottom knee.
Planksgiving Lineup: 12 Plank Variations
Do these exercises for the time of your choosing and cycle through them 1-3 times. Invite a friend to plank along!
- Plank Master: Plank 1 minute: Rest 15-30 seconds
- Average Planker: Plank 45 seconds: Rest 15-30 seconds
- Rookie Planker of the Year: Plank 30 seconds: Rest 30 seconds
Plank with Leg Rotations
Lift one leg off the ground, bend your knee, and bring it towards your opposite elbow. Bring it back, still bent, and squeeze the outside part of your butt to raise your leg up and out to the side. Try not to let your hips rock. Split time between sides.
Side Plank Crunch
Start out in a side plank with your top elbow bent with your hand by your ear. Crunch over and twist your core to bring your elbow towards your hand on the floor. Squeeze your core to come back to the starting position. Split time between sides.
Plank with Arm Circles
Shift your weight to one hand while lifting the opposite arm out straight. In a circular motion, bring your hand to touch your mid-back, twisting it mid-air so the top of your hand touches your back. Try to keep your belly button pointing at the floor the entire time.
Side Plank Ups
In a side plank position, slowly lower your hips so they touch the ground. Squeeze your sides and push your forearm into the ground to bring your hips back up to the starting position. Split time between sides.
Plank with Donkey Kick
Lift one leg (knee bent) and lift your heel toward the ceiling using your butt muscles. Don’t allow your hips to rock. Split time between sides.
Bend one leg and bring your knee up to touch the elbow on the same side. Keep your butt down!
Plank with Shoulder Taps
Shift your weight to one hand while bringing the other one up to touch your opposite shoulder. Try not to let your hips shift. I sprained my right wrist so mine are shifting a little too much on that side!
Side Plank Knee to Elbow Crunch
Bend your top leg and squeeze your side and butt to bring it up to meet your elbow at your side. Pause, then return, extending your arm over your head. Split time between sides.
Plank with Leg Ab/Adductions
Lift one leg up slightly higher than the other. Squeeze the outside of your thigh to bring it out to the side, and then squeeze your inner thigh to bring it across your stationary leg. Split time between sides.
Plank Knee Twists
Bend your leg, twist your core, and bring your knee towards your opposite elbow. Keep your butt down!
Plank Hip Twists
Twist your hips, squeeze your side, and try to touch your right hip to the ground. Twist on your toes, contract your core, and try to do the same on the left side. I prefer to do these on my forearms.
Push up onto your toes, rocking your body forward. Pause, and then try to flex your feet bringing you back past the starting position. If you’re lucky, a cute puppy will be excited about your planks, too.
Planksgiving is my favorite holiday! Try these killer moves to slim down and strengthen your waist, while working your whole body! If you’re really concerned about holiday weight gain, try my nutrition course, accountability and workout programs on The Fit Tutor! Or sign up to receive FREE workouts sent to your inbox!
Planking won’t solve all your problems, but it will help you feel better about that sweet potato pie! You’re a champ. Enjoy the holidays, friend. Let me know your favorite plank!
Don’t forget to share with your friends!
*All of these planks are on (or being added this week!) to thefittutor.com, so if you need more detailed instruction sign up for your free trial today! A personal trainer in your own home on your own schedule is a no-brainer ;)
**Try at your own risk! If you have a medical condition or injury or are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you try any exercise program. If you have blood pressure issues, don’t get above an 8 on the RPE scale. The Fit Tutor is not responsible for any injuries. If you recently had a baby, don’t plank! Read this post to find out more.