The Two Ps: Planks and Push Ups

You know when people ask you, “If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Mine would be chips and salsa or Caprese sandwiches. But that is another post. This is about the exercise moves you would do if you could only do one (or two) moves for the rest of your life.

Behold Planks and Push Ups

Planks and push ups are two of the best moves ever invented. They require no equipment, can be done anywhere, and can be adjusted to be made easier, more difficult, or to target different areas.

I am trying to do push ups and planks every day. It only takes a couple minutes, and can do wonders for your upper body and core strength.

Here are some variations on both moves:

Basic Plank
Starting at the top of a pushup position, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms. Your body should form a straight line. Brace your abs (imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut) and hold.

Side Plank
Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your right forearm so your body forms a diagonal line. Rest your left hand on your hip. Hold – switch sides.

Plank with Arm Lift
Get into the plank position. Brace your abs and carefully shift your weight to your right forearm. Extend your left arm in front of you and hold for 3 to 10 seconds. Slowly bring your arm back in. Repeat with the right arm. That’s.

Mountain Climber Planks
Get in push up position, arms extended. Bring right knee to left side of chest and return to start. Repeat with left knee. Continue for 20-30 reps.

Basic Push Up
Place hands on the ground as wide or slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping the body straight, lower body to the ground by bending arms at the elbows. Raise body up off the ground by extending the arms. Repeat.

Tricep Push Up
Place hands on ground, shoulder width apart. As you lower into push up position, keep elbows close to body, elbows point behind you, not out to the sides. Repeat.

Spider Push Up
As you lower into push up position, bring right knee out to the side, to touch right elbow. Return to start. Repeat on left side.

There are so many variations to these two moves – so you never have to get bored with these.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one (or two, or three) workout moves, what would they be? If I could add one more, it would probably be jump squats.


2 thoughts on “The Two Ps: Planks and Push Ups

  1. okay you’ve re-motivated me to start up my planks and pushups again 🙂 I agree with how important they are…they’re just the two moves I’m much more inclined to do when I’m at boot camp and they’re making me do them!!

    And funny that you mention caprese sandwiches, as that’s what I have posted on my blog today!

  2. […] Workouts on May 6, 2010 at 10:52 am As I mentioned before, I am trying to be diligent about doing push ups and planks as many days out of the week as possible. I try to make sure to squeeze in 10-20 push ups and one […]

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