This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The hands and toes walk out and back is essentially a slow and methodical change in position from a pike position to a plank position. Sounds easy? It's not. This exercise works your entire body and trains muscles, muscle endurance, and balance.
Begin in a piked-up position on the floor with your back slightly rounded instead of truly piked. Your hips should be in the air, your palms flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart in front of you, your legs as straight as possible, your feet hip-width apart with heels slightly off the ground, and your body supported by your hands and the balls of your feet. In order to maintain the support through your abdominals, keep your chin tucked to your chest throughout the movement and think of your starting position as a rounded arch from your hands up and around to your feet. The feeling will be similar to the feeling of sucking in your stomach as if someone had punched you in the gut. This will help keep your back rounded throughout the movement and your abs pulled tight in (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, slowly walk your hands out past the push-up position as far in front of you as you can while staying in the plank position. When you reach the fully extended plank position, your body should be in a straight line from your heels to your head, your arms should be straight, and your hands should be on the floor in front of you (see Photos 2 and 3).
- Reverse the motion and slowly walk your upper body back up to the starting pike position (see Photos 4 and 5).