Abs and Core Exercises

Rich Power's Plank Variation to Crush Your Core

Trainer Rich Power’s plank variation will have you begging for mercy. Then begging for more.

Rich Power's Plank Variation to Crush Your Core
Per Bernal / M+F Magazine

Rich Power is responsible for the core strength of Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey and pro MMA fighter Paul Bradley. So imagine what he can do for you. To achieve a core on par with a pro athlete’s, give Power’s plate plank a try. A seemingly benign variation of this gym staple, the plate plank has you holding a simple plank while pushing into a weight plate. (A thicker bumper plate will provide more stability; a thinner plate will make this move more challenging.) The instability of the plate combined with the tension you have to create by pushing into the weight to stay balanced forces your core to work overtime. To take it up a notch, Power suggests trying to push your body away from the plate while keeping it steady.

“We’re not stationary people,” explains Power, an ex-boxer. “So why would I make you get in a plank and then say, ‘Be as still as you can be’? No, get into a plank and then stretch your core out. When you reach the plank out, you’re gonna go, ‘Ugh,’ and then breathe really hard. That’s your core working overdrive, and I’ll take that feeling all day long.”

Plank Plate

  1. Place your hands less than shoulder-width apart on a 45-pound plate that’s sitting on its side. Press into it firmly.
  2. Begin walking your feet back until your legs are straight and your arms are straight and over the weight, resembling a plank position.
  3. Holding the weight, begin pushing the weight into the ground for as long as possible. To make it more challenging, push your body away from the weight. You can also make it easier by spreading your feet apart or moving them forward.

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