Plank-N-Spine Challenge

Happy Halloween all you ghouls, bats, sexy cats, and kittens! Whether you’re trick-or-treating with the kids or dressing up for a costume party, your muscles need something to scream about!

Let’s start off your day with a Halloween-inspired workout challenge to get you in the spooky spirit. So, I challenge you to The Plank-N-Spine Halloween Challenge!!

Planks can be scary and quite difficult depending on your planking ability prior to this challenge. But your Total Gym will assist you to be planking like a champ in no time!

The plank exercise is a fundamental core movement that works all muscles of your body at once. It’s an exercise that can start in simple steps and progressed to the most challenging of bodyweight exercises! The total gym incline will be your best friend to enable your muscles to develop the strength needed to eventually progress to harder variations.

So, let’s get “plankin" and train your “spine” with these core moves that will spook your muscles into the Halloween spirit!


This workout potion combines grueling core strengthening elements that will spook your muscles into next month! When performing the exercises, execute them with proper form and control of the movement.


Perform the movements in circuit format, meaning little to no rest between each move, then transition into the next exercise. Start with a timed plank, then perform 10 reps per exercise. Aim for 5 rounds and each round, increase the reps by 5 reps.

REPS: Add on sets (10, 15, 20, 25, 30)
SETS: 5 Rounds if you dare!
LEVEL: Low-Med depending on your current strength.
*The higher the incline, the easier the planks will be. The lower the incline, the harder the challenge*

1. Grueling Plank Hold (30-60 sec if you dare!)
• Assume a plank position with the head towards the tower.
• Maintain a long body position from your head to heels with core engaged at all times.
• Modify by performing a kneeling plank with the glide board closed.

2. Bat Extensions
• Lie facing down on your glide board with your feet anchored on the bottom rails and arms out to the sides to start.
• Draw the navel in, press into the rails with your toes, and exhale as you lift the spine into extension.
• Hold the spine at the top of the extension and move the arms slowly up towards ears and down towards sides like bat wings.
• Lower the spine, return to the start position, and repeat the motion.
• Move slowly with control.

3. Spider Plank
• Assume a plank position with the head towards the tower and feet in front of the bottom base.
• Lift one leg, then bend the knee and bring it towards the same elbow aiming to tap it.
• Return the leg to plank and repeat on the other side.
• Modify by performing a kneeling plank with the glide board closed.

4. Chain Saw Pulls
• Assume a forearm plank on your glide board with your head towards the tower and feet on the floor at the base.
• Step one foot in front of the other foot and rotate the hips to the side the toes are pointing.
• Maintain a straight line from your head to your heals as you hinge from the shoulders to slide the glide board up the rails (as if you were sawing)
• Return to the starting position to repeat.
• Perform this one on both sides.

5. Fearless Forearm Plank Taps
• Remain in your forearm plank position (from exercise above).
• Bend one knee and bring it towards the opposite elbow, then return it back to the floor.
• Alternate sides and focus on contracting the obliques!

Be sure to check out the video to see how these Plank-N-Spine exercises are performed on your Total Gym.

Train your planks so that your spine stays strong.

Happy Halloween!


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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