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This Olympic Gymnast 4 Exercise For Abs Is Better Than Plank

I figured the 4 bodyweight moves Olympic gymnast Samantha Peszek posted on Instagram were going to be challenging but perfect for hitting the heart

This Olympic Gymnast 4 Exercise For Abs Is Better Than Plank

I figured the 4 bodyweight moves Olympic gymnast Samantha Peszek posted on Instagram were going to be challenging but perfect for hitting the heart — after all, last year I tried her former co-mates ab routine and it ignited my mid-section big time. Peszek, who was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team that won silver and went on to qualify for UCLA, said these innovative plank exercises are going to "up your ab game."

The four movements that Peszek shared were: "plank twist hops" which are similar to a plank-to-pike hop, except you, twist to the side and tuck your knees in; "plank kick to the side," like walk-throughs but in a plank position; "plank knee-in kickback," similar to a Three-Legged Dog yoga pose with a crunch; and a "plank elbow to knee, fingers to toes," a side elbow plank with an oblique crunch. See Peszek show off the above moves.

As a long-time gymnast, I recognized her acquired style of gymnastics (pointed toes and flexibility), and I appreciated the exercises that mirrored some of the moves I used to do at the end of my conditioning practices, particularly the two last. Since Peszek did not give any instructions about how many reps and sets to do, based on what she shared with the same movements in an earlier workout — and based on what I felt my body could manage after the weighted 25-minute full-body home workout I did — I performed 10 reps for a total of three rounds of each exercise. This looked like:

  1. Plank twist jump: 10 reps
  2. Plank kick to side: 10 reps
  3. Plank knee-in kickback: 10 reps
  4. Side plank elbow to knee, fingers to toes: 10 reps on each side

Apart from working the obliques, six-packed muscles (rectus abdominis), and deep heart, the ab circuit was a sly burning of the arm due to the work on the plank. It was tougher than I had expected (I was too exhausted to push through for four rounds, I admit). The last two moves — the ones I said took me back to my gymnastics days — were the hardest of the four movements, but they were my favorites (no surprise there!) as well.

I will call this a progressive ab circuit. I recommend that you do a changed side plank with your bottom knee down for the last move if you can't keep yourself onto a full side plank while adding an oblique twist and touch of the foot. I also recommend that you only go as far as you can to the Three-Legged Kickback Dog for the knee-in kickback plank if your versatility is not fully there. I will also change the rounds and reps, based on what's comfortable for your level of fitness.

The circuit shows you can do so much more than just keep a plank, and exercises on body weight are not easy at all. For one thing, I'm planning to do this in the future as an ab burnout (to complete four rounds!), and from now on I could see myself integrating these last two movements directly into my workouts. Peszek knows about the main exercises!

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YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters: This Olympic Gymnast 4 Exercise For Abs Is Better Than Plank
This Olympic Gymnast 4 Exercise For Abs Is Better Than Plank
I figured the 4 bodyweight moves Olympic gymnast Samantha Peszek posted on Instagram were going to be challenging but perfect for hitting the heart
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