Imagine exercises that fire up your ab muscles, while simultaneously banking a killer calorie burn. We’re talking moves that work your core from every angle — hitting your transverse abdominals (which wrap horizontally around your midsection and provide stability), obliques (muscles that engage for side bending) and the rectus abdominis (which provide a six-pack look). Well, that’s exactly the winning workout we have for you.
For these three plyometric planks, we take your standard static hold and add some “pow.” That means explosive movements designed to improve muscular power, so they check off those cardio and core boxes, too. If you’re thinking you’ve hit the fitness jackpot right about now…you have!
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3 Plyometric Planks for a Cardio Core Workout
Get ready to get super fit. Perform these three bodyweight-only moves for 30 seconds each, with a 10 second rest in between. (Take more time if you need it.) Remember to keep a flat back and neutral pelvis — no dropping or raising your hips — throughout each exercise. Push yourself to complete the circuit for as many rounds as you can handle. If you need a modification for any of these moves, you can always step instead of jump. Your kicked up cardio and strong core await.
1. Plank Ladder
Daily Burn 365 trainer Dara Theodore shows how a simple forward hop can turn up the burn on a standard plank. Try not to pike your hips too much as you bring your feet forward.
How to: Start in a high plank position, wrists under shoulders and body in a straight diagonal line from shoulders to ankles. Your feet should be hip-width apart (a). Hop both feet about six inches toward your arms (b). Hop both feet another six inches toward your arms (c). Jump your feet all the way back to the starting position (d). Repeat.
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2. Plank Jacks to Tuck Jump
Prince Brathwaite may make this move look easy, but don’t let this Daily Burn 365 trainer fool you. You’ll jack it out in a plank before finishing with a powerful leap into the air. Think about pulling your knees toward your chest in the tuck (it’ll scorch your core even more!), instead of going for height.
How to: Start in a high plank position, wrists under shoulders, body in a straight diagonal line from shoulders to ankles and feet hip-width apart (a). Jump your feet wider than your hips and then back to the starting position (b). Repeat that motion another time (c). Next, jump your feet up to your hands (d). Then quickly jump straight up to bring your knees toward your chest for a tuck jump (e). Place your hands back down and jump your feet back to a high plank (f). Repeat from the top.
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3. Diagonal Squat Thrust
Bonus points for this move from Theodore, which works your booty, too. Make sure to hit a solid plank each time you jump your feet back.
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart (a). Place your hands diagonally on the floor, right hand slightly in front of the left (b). Jump both feet back on a right diagonal to hit a high plank with shoulders over wrists (c). Jump your feet back to your hands, landing in a squat with hips squared to the front (d). Squeeze your glutes to stand (e). Place your hands diagonally on the floor, this time with your left hand slightly in front (f). Jump both feet back on left diagonally to hit a high plank position (g). Jump back up to the forward-facing squat position and continue alternating (h).
For more exercises that rev up your heart rate and work your abs, try Daily Burn 365. You’ll get a new workout every day, free for 30 days!