It’s no surprise that movement is a huge part of Gal Gadot’s regular routine—she is, literally, after all, Wonder Woman. But I was surprised to learn when I interviewed her recently that Gadot doesn’t necessarily hit the gym super hard every day.
“I enjoy being outside and not being stuck necessarily in the gym,” explains Gadot, who recently signed on as the new face of Smartwater. “I love doing things that make me feel vital and vibrant and healthy and alive, even if it doesn’t really feel like a ‘workout.’”
When she’s not in full-on Wonder Woman training mode—the sequel for Wonder Woman drops this summer—Gadot tries to fit in some kind of exercise three to four times a week, whether it’s Pilates, swimming, hiking, or strength and flexibility work.
While Gadot is all about variety in her workout, there is one exercise that holds a special place in her heart: the almighty plank.
“I love doing planks. Planks are my go-to,” she says to SELF. “When I travel and don’t feel like going down to the hotel gym, I just do a workout in my room, and planks are a big part of that.”
Planks are a great go-to exercise if you’re short on time. As we’ve reported before, they work your entire core—not just the muscles that run across the front of your abdomen, but the ones that support your spine and those that surround your pelvis, like your hips and glutes too. That’s why trainers often recommend including them in your routine, since they build the stellar core strength and stabilization that helps you move more effectively—whether you’re running, walking, or simply bending over to pick up a toddler—while warding off injury.
But, as Gadot mentioned, doing the same thing over and over again can get boring. Yep, even the beloved plank. So, in Gadot’s spirit of keeping workouts lively and fresh, check out these five plank variations below so you can switch up your routine—and keep the killer core exercise fun and fresh.
Demoing the moves below is Crystal Williams, a group fitness instructor and trainer who teaches at residential and commercial gyms across New York City; Amanda Wheeler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and cofounder of Formation Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and allies; and Cookie Janee, a background investigator and security forces specialist in the Air Force Reserve.