There are a few fitness problems that a good plank won’t solve. Combine a plank with toe taps to make plank toe taps and now you have a whole powerhouse in your hands, literally.
If you are familiar with planks, then you would know it is that exercise that stops time, and every second of this workout counts. The plank toe takes this exercise a notch higher by making your heart work harder, thus throwing some level of cardio into the mix.
Moreover, this variation also activates muscles in the legs and hips. However, this exercise mainly targets the same group of muscles as the conventional plank, that is the core and abs.
It barely needs any type of equipment, get yourself some space that will allow you to comfortably lie down and you are good to begin this exercise.
HOW TO DO PLANK TOE TAPS
- Drop into a plank position. If the floor is too rough for your forearms you may want to spread a mat on the ground first. Make sure your upper arms are vertical and place your shoulders above your hands.
- Transfer all your weight to the right foot as you raise the left foot and tap the floor a few inches to the side of your body.
- Return the left leg to the initial position and do the same to the right leg
- Do as many reps as you wish.
PLANK TOE TAPS MUSCLES WORKED
Most exercises work a lot of muscles at once, and the plank toe taps are no different. However, there is that muscle that has to work the hardest to keep the body in position and reaps the most benefits from a particular exercise. In this case, it is the core muscles, this is a plank after all.
There might be leg and toe movements thrown in, but this exercise will still target the core muscles – the abs and obliques. However, as opposed to the regular plank, this exercise makes the glutes, hip adductors, and abductors work harder than they normally would.
PLANK TOE TAPS BENEFITS
IMPROVES BALANCE AND COORDINATION
For this exercise, you are in a plank position, a position that most people find challenging in itself already. Then you have to shift your whole weight to one leg and tap either further back or to the side with the other leg.
It is a real test of balance and you have to be highly coordinated in order to achieve these motions seamlessly. This will improve your overall balance and coordination.
STRENGTHENS THE CORE
Being a plank, there is no way the core muscles will escape unscathed. This exercise is to some extent a type of resistance training that works the core muscles and makes them stronger, tighter, and trimmer.
REDUCE BACK PAIN
If you have back pain, this exercise targets the lower back and may help you get rid of it. However, the back is a sensitive part of the body. Thus, if you have existing issues and pain in the back just don’t jump into doing planks.
Your physician may be in a better place to determine whether planks or any other variation may be the right approach to alleviating your back pain.
CAN IMPROVE POSTURE
Planks, by their very nature, can help improve your posture. You are required to align your body from the head to the front of the foot if doing a full plank and to the knees, if doing a beginner’s plank.
Your back should also be straight. This alignment, when done consistently, will have a positive impact on your posture.
PLANK TOE TAPS ALTERNATIVES
PLANK TOE TOUCHES
Just like the plank toe taps, the plank toe touches target the main muscles in the core. They are fairly easy to do and most people regard them as beginner level. To get them right, you have to pay a lot of attention to the proper form and how to hold at the top of the movement.
Here is how to do this exercise:
- You can begin this exercise by lying down and then raising yourself on your hands while the rest of your body stretches out behind you.
- Raise your hips while keeping the rest of your body static. Meanwhile, stretch your right hand to touch the toes of your left leg. Keep your back straight as you do this.
- Maintain the position for a couple of seconds then return to the initial position. Do the same with the left hand as you simultaneously bend your hips.
- Do as many reps as you wish.
PLANK TOE TAPS MISTAKES TO AVOID
This workout definitely promises a lot of benefits but doing it once or twice will not get you anywhere. You have to be consistent and possibly make it part of an existing workout routine in order to gain the most from it.
Once you get used to the form and all the motions of this exercise, your gains may plateau. You should therefore not depend on it as the only strength-training exercise in your routine.
To make it even more challenging, add resistance such as weighted vests. Better still, try other strength training or resistance training exercises to build more muscle.
If you have any sort of sensitivity in the areas that the plank toe taps target, please talk to your doctor first.
This exercise is excellent for toning and building core muscles. However, you may have to seek other exercises that burn more calories if your intention is to lose belly fat and generally lose more weight.
But then again, whether you choose to stick with exercise or try others that are more challenging will largely depend on your goals, your situation, what you prefer, and what is available for you at the moment.
Otherwise, once you decide to make this exercise part of your routine, incorporate a good diet and rest in your day-to-day life. Your muscles will heal and get repaired better this way, and will therefore grow stronger.