Intense plank workout to get your abs in tip-top shape

Planking is more than just a way to harden abs - it's also an incredible workout for your arms, legs and a great way to work on your balance. Incorporating planking into your workout routine is actually essential to build stability, and strengthen your body's movements. Infact, planking is one of the best ways to condition your body for cardio, and even weight training because it's going to maximize the way you can move, and use your body.
The exercises below are some of the best we found on the web to help you tighten your core, and maximize your workout. These are not the planks they taught you in gym class all those years ago - these are full of movement, balance, and sweat.
1. Moving plank 
This isn't the plank you're used to - and you're going to love it. Women's Health Magazine says start out in the normal plank position, but bend your right knee towards your left elbow. Hold it for a couple seconds, then bring your leg back out and angle it to the right side - all while keeping it extended. 
Pause again, then reverse the movement above until you're back in the plank position and repeat for your other side. 
2. Shifting plank 
Get ready to feel the burn with Shape's shifting plank. First, get yourself in the normal planking position and hold it for a couple of seconds. Then lift up your right arm while keeping it in the bended 'L' position you had it in while planking. As you do this you're shifting your weight to the left side, and tilting your body up by keeping your arm and core parallel to your legs. 
Hold for a second, then return to your normal planking position and repeat on the other side. 
3. Side plank with hip dips 
A twist on the classic side plank, this plank mentioned on Shape is also a bit of a balancing act. Start out in a side plank position with one forearm on the mat - and be sure to have your elbow properly aligned with your shoulder and back. Now find your balance and with your other arm straight up in the air dip down a few inches above the mat. 
Shift your weight back up, and repeat on that side before switching to the other.
4. Plank arm raisers 
For this plank featured on Women's Health, you'll need to grab a dumbbell. Start out in a pushup position, and extend your right arm straight in front of you while holding the dumbbell. Make sure to keep your hips parallel to the floor, and your body nice and straight. 
Lower your arm back to the pushup position, and repeat on that side until switching to the other.
5. Swiss ball rotations 
For this creative plank, grab a swiss ball and get ready to sweat. Kneel behind the ball with your arms in the normal planking position - always being sure to keep your arms rigid and aligned under your shoulders. 
Now push your legs up so they're straight out and your in the normal plan position - but on a ball. When you're up and balanced, move your forearms in a clockwise rotation for 5 reps - then repeat going counterclockwise. 

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