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The one move you should master this year: Push up and plank.

The one move you should master this year: Push up and plank.

It isn’t news that there’s no short-cut to strong and toned muscles. There’s no substitute for hard work and repetitions, however you look at it.

The important thing is that the hard work is correctly focussed. Going for the wrong moves won’t give the results you want. Doing the right moves incorrectly can cause injury, which is really going to set your fitness programme back. Doing the right moves but occasionally won’t give you enough progress.

What is needed is a short but effective workout that fits into a busy lifestyle.  Based on HIIT principles, this mini-workout can be done in ten spare minutes or less.

Based on push ups and planks, this is a very simple workout. These are all the moves you need to master to give yourself a full body workout.

All you need is enough space to stretch out and a bit of cushioning on the floor. It is also best to be wearing trainers to protect your feet in the plank pose.

1.      THE WARM UP

Even for a short workout, you can’t start from cold. Try the egg roll – lie on your back, grab your knees to your chest and start rolling from feet to head and back. Continue for one minute.

2.      THE PLANK

Lie down on your front, legs out, elbows bent under shoulders. Clasp your hands. Tighten your abdominal muscles and use your toes to raise your body until there is a straight line from head to feet. Keep that core engaged, don’t let your back sag. Aim to hold for a minute.


From the plank, straighten your arms and keep looking ahead (not down). Now lower yourself as far as you can while keeping your body in a straight line. If that is down to the floor, fine – but only go as far as you can while maintaining form. Then push up again and repeat.

Looking ahead and keeping your spine straight are essential to avoid injury.

When the form sags, stop the workout.

Plank and pushups make a perfect quick workout. How many can you do?

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.