Take Your Plank To The Next Level With Knee Taps
With busy schedules and long to-do lists, it can feel impossible to squeeze in a workout when you know you really should. We've all been there—which is why we love a good full-body exercise that makes for a simple, fast, and most importantly, effective workout.
Planks are one of those moves that provide just that, working your arms, legs, and core. So, to take your plank practice to the next level, we're spotlighting knee taps—including how to do them and why they work.
How to do it.
Because this pose incorporates the catlike spine seen in cat-cow, take a few rounds of those to warm up, as it will help you go deeper into this move.
Start in plank pose, making sure shoulders are stacked over wrists and the neck is neutral. Your body will form a straight line as you lightly squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and engage your core. You should feel one long line of energy from the crown of your head to your heels.
From here, holding the plank, bring your right knee into your chest. As you squeeze your core and your right oblique, feel this isometric hold and keep your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Then, keeping your knee where it is, slowly tap your right knee to the mat as you inhale.
As you exhale, lift your knee toward your nose making a catlike spine, doming your shoulders and creating space in the upper thoracic. As you squeeze your core, the backside of your body will have more space to open up.
Come back to plank on an inhale and switch sides. Continue as you link your breath to the movement.
When done correctly, planks and all their wonderful variations work muscles all around the body. Do this move regularly and you can expect to see some gains in your triceps, core, and glutes. And not only that, but all the space you're inviting into the upper thoracic is great for a weary upper back.
The fact is, we all have things we could prioritize over working out. But with simple moves like these, plus HIIT workouts that can be done anywhere, it's never been easier to get a little bit of movement in.
Amanda Quadrini is on the Brand Partnerships team at mindbodygreen. She grew up in Southern California where she attended San Diego State University. She received her degree in Kinesiology and was also a member of the Division I Women's Cross Country and Track team. Amanda loves running (has completed three marathons) and is a certified yoga and pilates instructor. Amanda lives in Brooklyn, New York.