The plank exercise is one of the most effective ways to tighten your stomach and create those desired ab lines. In addition to toning your stomach, adding a row to the plank exercise will help shape your back and shoulder muscles. This two-part exercise is simple to do and is a wonderful exercise that works out multiple muscles groups at once. To successfully complete the modified plank exercise with row you will need enough open floor space to lie-down on and two 5 lb dumbbells. You may want to do this move on a yoga mat or carpeted area to add support and cushion for your body.
1. Lie Flat on the Floor
To begin, lie on the floor face down with your legs straight behind you with your ankles, knees and thighs touching. With a dumbbell in each hand, extend your arms straight in front of your body.
2. Perform A Push Up
Move your arms, while still holding the dumbbells, under your shoulders. Keeping your knees on the ground, raise your upper body by pushing your hands into the ground and slowly straighten your arms and lift your shoulders and chest. Your hands will not be touching the floor but instead grasping the dumbbells. As a guide, imagine yourself in pushup position, but instead of straight legs you will have your knees bent. While in this modified plank position, you will want to keep your back as straight as possible and keep your abs tight. Aim to keep your neck inline with your spine and shoulders drawn back; you do not want them clinched up towards your ears.
3. Raise Elbow To Perform the Row
To complete the row portion of this exercise, beginning with your right arm, grab the dumbbell and bend your elbow to a 90 degree angle. Slowly pull it towards the ceiling while your upper arm skims the side of your stomach. You will have to tighten your abs to maintain your balance while doing this row.
4. Back to Center
Return to the starting position with your body back in modified push-up position and both hands on the floor. Repeat the same row move yet switch to your left arm. Continue the exercise until you have completed 10 repetitions per side. After a minute rest, try to complete a second set.
To make it easier: You can complete the 10 reps on the right side before switching to the left side. The advantage of switching arms after each repetition is that it further challenges your abdominal muscles because you are making them compensate when you shift your center of balance.
To make it harder: Once you have mastered the modified plank exercise, consider challenging yourself further by completing this exercise in a normal plank position. This means you would be supporting your weight on your toes instead of your knees. This increases the difficulty and will further challenge your abdominal muscles.
To make it advanced: To take this exercise one step further, you can place your hands on a step, creating an incline plank. Complete the row from this position.