The plank is a formidably useful exercise, but remaining still for minutes on end can tire your patience as much as your muscles. For those masters of the plank who are keen to find another way to challenge their core without using any equipment, the hand walkout is an excellent choice.
You’ll feel every inch of the strife your body is going through during the walkout. It’s an excellent way to work out your core, and will hit the abs especially hard. Your shoulders and upper torso don’t escape either, and it also stretches out your legs, glutes and lower back.
This is a fairly advanced exercise, so if you can’t hold a regular plank for one minute, aim to hit that target first.
The hand walkout is an equipment-free version of the abs rollout, where you roll your hands forward on a barbell. The walkout is slightly safer as it's easier to control how far you stretch forward than with the rollout. However, it’s still possible to overstretch yourself and hurt your lower back or shoulders. Don’t go too far.
How To Do The Hand Walkout
From a standing position, put your hands on the ground in front of your toes. Gradually walk your hands forward past the press-up position out as far as you can stretch. Slowly walk them back in to the starting position. The walk out and back counts as one rep: try to get through three sets of five.
For an easier version of the walkout, you can rest on your knees and move your hands forward and back from that position. Again, once it’s comfortable, you can try the full walkout.
If you decide that even the walkout isn’t enough to truly rock your body, then you can throw a press-up into the mix, as you can with almost every situation to make it a little more fun. As you walk your arms past the press-up position, drop down and push up before continuing on your merry way.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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