Plank Challenge Week 4: 7 of the Hardest Plank Variations for Your Abs

For the last week of the Plank Challenge, you'll be doing some of the hardest plank variations.
Image Credit: AleksandarGeorgiev/Getty Images/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Your core powers everything you do. Each day of the 4-Week Plank Challenge, you'll try a new plank variation to improve your core strength and endurance. Get all the details on the challenge here.

Now that you're in the final week of the 4-Week Plank Challenge, you're ready to push yourself. This week, you'll be doing seven of the hardest plank variations for a seriously strong core.

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Remember, each day you'll do 2 sets of a different plank variation, like plank hip dips. But this week, try to hold your planks as long as you can, aiming for at least 30 seconds and as long as 2 minutes if you're feeling strong.

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Form is more important than ever as the exercises get more challenging. Maintaining a stable core while moving with control will sculpt your abs and help prevent injuries.

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Below, Kelly Gonzalez Corbett, CPT, RYT, founder of Elemental Conditioning, demonstrates step-by-step instructions for each plank variation. If you keep scrolling to the very end, there's also a video with all the variations in one place.

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Challenge Day 22: Eye of the Tiger Plank

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Skill Level Advanced
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Start in a side plank, balancing on one hand and the edges of your feet.
  2. Extend your top arm up and bend your bottom knee up toward your bottom arm.
  3. Next, lift your bottom knee up off the floor, resting it on the triceps of your supporting arm.
  4. Hold as long as you can before dropping down.
  5. Repeat this lift as many times as you can. When you do this variation again later today, switch sides.

Challenge Day 23: Side Plank With Arm Extension and Leg Lift

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Skill Level Advanced
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Start in a side plank, balancing on one hand and the edges of your feet.
  2. Lift your top leg several inches as you extend your arm out long over your head (not up toward the ceiling).
  3. Hold as long as you can, and switch to the other side for your second set.

Challenge Day 24: Center Chaturanga

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Skill Level Advanced
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Start in a side plank.
  2. Rotate into a high plank, immediately lowering into a Chaturanga push-up, with your elbows tucked into your sides.
  3. Push back up, then rotate to a side plank on the other side.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds — or however long you can while maintaining proper plank form.

Challenge Day 25: Side Tree Pose Plank

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Skill Level Advanced
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Start in side plank.
  2. Bend your top knee up toward the ceiling and place that foot on your ankle, calf or inner thigh (not on your knee).
  3. Extend your arm up toward the ceiling and hold for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side later today.

Challenge Day 26: Fallen Triangle Side Plank

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Skill Level Advanced
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Begin in side plank.
  2. Extend your top arm up toward the ceiling and your bottom leg out in front of your torso. Rest your bottom foot on the floor.
  3. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side for your second set.

Tip

Lift your bottom foot a few inches off the floor for an extra challenge.

Challenge Day 27: Cross-Body Plank

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Skill Level Advanced
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Start in a high plank.
  2. Raise your right leg and your left arm.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds before switching sides.

Tip

To modify, bring your raised hand down to the ground and balance on "tented fingers," Joan says.

Challenge Day 28: Twister Hip Dip Plank

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Skill Level Advanced
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Begin in a forearm plank.
  2. Twist your hips to one side and balance on the side of your bottom foot, keeping your chest pulling toward your fingers.
  3. Pulse your hips up and down in this twisted plank position for at least 30 seconds. Switch sides when you do your second set.

Follow along with Elise Joan, yoga teacher and creator of Barre Blend, as she demonstrates all seven of Week 4's plank variations in one video.

Congratulations, You Finished the 4-Week Plank Challenge!

But you don't have to stop here! Start again from Week 1, this time with longer holds, or try another LIVESTRONG.com fitness challenge.

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