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The 4-Week Plank Challenge: Week 4

by 
author image Hoku Krueger
Hoku Krueger recently graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature Studies and a minor in French Language Studies. During her time there she wrote for the Occidental Weekly and interned with The Maui News.
The 4-Week Plank Challenge: Week 4
You've made it to the final week of our 4-Week Plank Challenge, but you're not done yet. Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

CONGRATULATIONS! You made it to the last leg of our 4-Week Plank Challenge — but you’re not done yet. This week we’re hitting you with our toughest plank variations yet to push you toward a seriously strong core. Focus on your form this week — maintaining a stable core while moving in a controlled manner will help to tone your abs and prevent injuries as you move forward.

Video of the Day

Plank twice a day to reap the full benefits of a strong core like better posture, breathing and digestion. These moves are designed to engage your abs, obliques, hips and back, so get ready to finish strong:

Try to hold each variation for at least a minute, and if you can, push yourself to reach two minutes. The longer you hold, the more satisfied you’ll be with your results. Here’s a line-up of all the moves you’ll be doing this week:

It's the Eye of the Tiger (Plank)!
It's the Eye of the Tiger (Plank)! Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

1. Eye of the Tiger Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Start in side plank balancing on your hand. Extend your top arm up and bend your bottom knee up toward your bottom arm. Next, lift your bottom knee up off the floor and balancing on your bottom triceps. Hold as long as you can before dropping down. Repeat this lift as many times as you can for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Three exercises put into one.
Three exercises put into one. Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

2. Side Plank + Arm Extension + Leg Lift

HOW TO DO IT: Start in side plank. Lift your top leg several inches as you extend your arm out over your head and toward the wall (not up toward the ceiling). Now hold!

Read more: 13 Yoga Poses to Help You Be Less Klutzy

Side plank plus Chaturanga?! Talk about a challenge.
Side plank plus Chaturanga?! Talk about a challenge. Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Center Chaturanga

HOW TO DO IT: Start in side plank. Rotate to come into a standard plank, but immediately lower into a Chaturanga push-up, with your elbows tucked into your side. Push back up, and then rotate to a side plank on the other side. Continue this for 30 seconds to one minute — however long you can do with good form.

Challenge you balance with side tree pose plank.
Challenge you balance with side tree pose plank. Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

4. Side Tree Pose Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Start in side plank. Bend your top knee up toward the ceiling and place the foot on your ankle, calf or inner thigh (not on your knee). Extend your arm up toward the ceiling and hold.

You'll kind of look like you're break dancing with fallen triangle side plank.
You'll kind of look like you're break dancing with fallen triangle side plank. Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

5. Fallen Triangle Side Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Again, begin in side plank. Extend your top arm up toward the ceiling and your bottom leg out in front of your torso. If you're feeling strong, you can lift the bottom foot off the floor for as long as you can with proper form.

Also called bird-dog, this is a challenging plank variation.
Also called bird-dog, this is a challenging plank variation. Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

6. Cross Body Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a regular plank position at the top of a push-up. Then, raise your right leg and your left arm. Hold before switching sides. Continue alternating arms and legs for the full minute.

Read more: 8 Unilateral Exercises to Challenge Your Balance

This variation is pretty twisted!
This variation is pretty twisted! Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

7. Twisted Hip Dip Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Begin in a forearm plank. Twist your hips to one side and balance on the side of your foot, keeping your chest pulling toward your fingers. Hold this for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Congrats on Finishing the Plank Challenge

This is the home stretch, so finish with everything you’ve got. And when you reach the end of the week, don’t stop! Start all over again with longer holds or check our Facebook Challenge Group to find your next fitness journey and get support, motivation and workout buddies.

Also, be sure to follow Elise on Facebook and Instagram. Love her outfits? Get her Week 4 look at Monreal London, lululemon and Spiritual Gangster.

<< 4-Week Plank Challenge < Week 3

LIVESTRONG.COM is turning ten years old this summer, and we want to celebrate our birthday with you! On Saturday, August 4, at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the entire LIVESTRONG team and celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, along with our favorite social media influencers, food experts, celebrities, top fitness trainers and our biggest fans will be breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for Most people holding a plank. Are you in? Get tickets before they sell out.

What Do YOU Think?

What’s your favorite plank variation from this challenge? Did you follow Elise’s regimen for the entire four weeks, or were there times when you slipped up? How did you stay motivated to keep going? Will you be shopping any of Elise’s looks? What challenge would you like to do next? Let us know in the comments section!

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