Some things are just better together, even if they’re already great on their own: Peanut butter and chocolate, Han Solo and Chewbacca, beer and football. So it goes with the plank and the squat.
Taken individually, the plank is one of the best core moves you can do, and the squat targets the body’s lower half more effectively than just about any other exercise. But put them together, and you create something truly special: a heart-pounding combo move that hammers your legs and midsection while building strength and explosive power from head to toe.
Muscles targeted: Core and quads
How to Correctly Do the Plank to Low Squat
- Assume a straight-arm plank (i.e., push-up) position with your hands in line with (but slightly wider than) your shoulders, and your body straight from head to heels.
- Jump your feet forward and lift your chest and arms so that you’re now in a low squat position with your thighs parallel to the floor.
- Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
Make it easier: Step forward and backward into and out of the squat instead of jumping.
Make it harder: Hold the low squat position for longer and/or do a push-up each time you jump your feet back into a plank.
Bonus tip: This exercise is meant to be explosive, so don’t take it easy. You want to pause in each of the primary positions (plank and squat), but you want to transition between them quickly. That fast, transitional movement is what helps you build power and boost your heart rate.