The Best Holiday Exercise You’re Not Doing
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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