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Upgrade Your Plank With The Body Saw

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Chugging through the same workout routine week in, week out is a sure-fire way to remove any and all enthusiasm from the process, so mixing up the classics in your core regime is a must.

The plank is no exception to this rule, especially as one of its central tenets is barely moving at all. To ensure you don’t end up neglecting your core in the face of this planking monotony, why not introduce the body saw into your life? It’s as testing a core workout as there is, and the only equipment you’ll need is a tea towel.

The extra dynamism of the body saw makes it a tougher challenge for your core than the regular plank, and so an even more effective workout. The movement of the saw gets harder as you move the centre of your body further away from your elbows, and it becomes more challenging to maintain the rigid plank position. There’s no need to overstretch yourself – even small movements will do wonders for your core.

How To Do The Body Saw

Adopt the plank position, with your bodyweight resting on your forearms and toes. Position said toes on a tea towel. Or two, if you have either big feet or small tea towels. Brace your abs and glutes, then start moving your body back and forth with your elbows. You don’t have to move a lot, just a gentle sawing motion.

You’ll need a smooth surface, or the tea towel will get stuck and you’ll be left doing a regular plank while standing on a tea towel. Either keep going until you have to stop, or do the body saw in two to four sets of ten reps, with 20 seconds between them.

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.