This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The plank position isn't just for push-ups—it's the building block of core work. In this exercise you'll strengthen your abs by maintaining your plank position, even as you work your triceps.
Take up a plank position (hands flat on floor under your shoulders, with fingers pointing forward, your back flat, and your center engaged). Place your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor (you may spread them wider to make the exercise easier). Hold a dumbbell in your right hand on the floor so that your thumb is up toward your head (see Photo 1).
- Maintaining your center so that your back does not drop or rise, press your weighted hand back in a tricep kickback. Raise your elbow to your side, keeping your elbow slightly above the level of your back throughout the entire movement. Extend your forearm until your entire arm is at your side and slightly above the level of your back, keeping your palm facing in toward your body throughout the movement (see Photo 2).
- Bend your elbow and bring your hand back to the starting position, and repeat the exercise for a full set with the same arm. Then, staying in the plank position, switch the weight to the other hand and repeat the exercise for the same number of repetitions on the other side (see Photo 3).