Updated: Feb 5
With plank being one of, if not the most common core exercise to do for swimmers, some may get bored or tired of doing the same old regular thing.
Swimmers may want to spice up their core routine with different ideas so, in this list, we’re going to show you different variations of the plank that are both harder and more challenging to keep swimmers focused and engaged.
This is the most similar to the regular plank out of all our variations but doesn’t mean it’s the easiest. To do it, assume the regular plank position, and instead of keeping your entire body as still as possible, raise your feet alternately off the floor. This makes maintaining balance a lot harder to do which therefore will require more core strength to be able to hold your body alignment straight. You only need to raise your feet slightly off the ground as you want to try and replicate a freestyle kicking action as best as possible. But perform the stomping slowly and steadily so you’re engaging your glute muscles as well as your core.
Plank To Press Up
The second variation involves both a regular plank and a press-up position. The aim is to try and change between both of them while keeping your body alignment straight. Not only does this variation work the core, but it also works your chest and shoulders too. It can be easy to always lift up to the press-up position with the same arm or your strong arm. So try to remember to change arms every time you raise your body up to equal out the workload on each arm. This exercise can easily be rushed and shouldn’t be. Take your time and control the movement as best as possible.
Hip Dip Plank
This next variation is rotating your hips to the floor when in a plank position. The focus is to get one hip to touch the floor while the other is up in the air and keep alternating so the rotation is continuous. This exercise best replicates freestyle body rotation. So as well as working the abdominals, it also works your obliques. Getting someone to watch you during this variation would be a good idea as your body alignment will likely deteriorate the longer you do it. Remember to keep your head still during this exercise as you’re wanting to replicate the freestyle technique as best as you can.
Knee To Elbow Plank
This variation is holding a plank position but at the same time getting your elbow to touch your opposite knee by tucking them in towards your stomach. This requires a huge amount of core stability and balance. With balance being the main issue, your hips will want to go higher to make this exercise feel easier. Your aim is to try and keep your hips level with the rest of your body throughout and try to avoid wobbling too much. Although this doesn’t fully replicate any particular swim stroke, it does work every core muscle in your body.
Alternating Superman Plank
This is the hardest plank variation on our list. There are 2 ways you can do this. You can either be in a normal plank position with elbows on the floor or in a press-up position. The movement consists of raising one arm up with the opposite leg so you look like superman, hence the name. When you raise your arm and leg, try to raise them up, level with the rest of your body. The further your limbs are from your core, the harder the exercise will be. This is a great plank variation for swimming, especially freestyle, as it stretches out your abdominals and your limbs in a similar way.
Check out the video below!!