Medicine ball makes the plank pose even more challenging

This medicine ball move will take that plank to the next level, giving your shoulders and legs more of a challenge. Fitness instructor John Garey, who uses it at his namesake Long Beach studio and on his “Core Power & Stamina” DVD, demonstrates it here.

What it does

This plank exercise works your abdominal muscles and those of the upper body. The work of balancing on the ball engages your obliques and quadriceps, while the leg lift targets glutes and hamstrings. Try it once you have mastered the basic plank.

What to do


Come to a facedown position on the mat and roll your medicine ball by your feet. Extend into plank position with your legs extended long and your body weight balanced between your hands and feet. Line your hands up under your shoulders.

Keeping your body in one long line, place one foot on top of the ball and balance, then bring the other foot up on top of the ball to tap next to it. Bring one foot down and then the other to their starting position on either side of the ball. If you have wrist issues, you can balance on your forearms rather than your hands.

To advance the move, you can try balancing on one foot on the medicine ball as you lift the opposite leg. Bring the lifted leg down to the floor and switch the legs to lift on the other side.

How much

Do up to four sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.