The Best Holiday Exercise You’re Not Doing

It's perfect for the holidays because you can do it anywhere (where there is a wall, anyway) and you'll turn your core routine on its head to build strength from your hips to your shoulders.


Jamie Millarn |

It’s the vertical wall plank! All exercises, including super effective ones like the plank, get old after a while. That’s when a variation can help elevate your fitness. “This move is an adaptation of a handstand conditioning exercise,” says personal trainer Al Jackson.

Related: 13 Variations Of The Plank That Will Sculpt Your Core To Perfection

“Planking with your feet against a wall forces you to maintain maximum core tension – or you quite literally face the consequences.” Going vertical also strengthens your arms, shoulders, and bench-press-ravaged rotator cuffs. Jackson recommends 3 reps, with 90 seconds of rest between each. Do them at the start of your workout so tired arms don’t let you down.

1. Lift Off

Assume a plank position but with the soles of your shoes or bare feet pressed against a wall. Tighten your core but breathe normally. Hold this horizontal position for 10 seconds.

Related: The Best Exercises for Bigger, Better, Bolder Shoulders

2. Step Up

Now walk your feet up and your hands in until your body is at a 45- degree angle. Squeeze your glutes, tuck your tailbone, and  engage your core. Count to 10 again.

Related: Use This Science-Backed Method To Carve The Core You’ve Always Wanted

3. Walk On

Walk your feet up and hands further in; your toes should just touch the wall. For good handstand technique, let your shoulders cover your ears slightly. Hold to 10 again.

Related: The Top Five Protein-Packed Smoothie Recipes

4. Go Low

Now walk back down, hitting each stage again for 10 seconds. That’s 1 rep. If it’s too hard, start by mastering step one; then work your way up to two and three.

What you’ll gain: rock solid core + stronger arms + injury-proof shoulders + the confidence to perform a handstand

READ MORE ON: bodyweight core full body hips plank shoulders