21 Plank Exercises To Strengthen And Tone Your Core And Back

 

What is a plank exercise?

The plank exercise is a body weight exercise, which means you use your body weight (instead of other weights like dumbbells or barbells) to build strength. It involves keeping your body on your toes and forearms while facing down (or on the side) for a couple of minutes, what you do in plan exercises. It is a static exercise and does not require any equipment. Its effects are huge, as I will speak in the next section. Check it out.

 

2. What are the benefits of planks?

Performing plank exercises can often benefit you in many ways. From helping you get a flat stomach to improve your mood. This bodybuilding exercise is more than just a static exercise. Here is the list of benefits of making boards every day.

  • Planks Improves posture – Planking strengthens the core and back muscles and improves your posture.
  • Reduces belly fat – Belly fat is an indispensable gift that most of us receive in return for our bad lifestyle and habits. If you want to lose the extra inches, plan to plan. By building and strengthening the core muscles, you will be able to sculpt your abs in no time.
  • Improves flexibility – Planks are also good for improving flexibility. You should make different variations of planks to get rid of your belly fat.
  • Reduces backache – If you suffer from back pain, planking can be one of the best solutions. As this exercise targets both the core and back muscles, it strengthens them and thereby reduces back pain.
  • Uplifts Mood – Finally, it may be possible to do a plank properly and help improve your mood and kick start the happiness hormones. It’s a great way to build self-confidence and awake the inner “get up and go” 
  • Planks build core – Being able to hold a plank for a few minutes and then gradually increasing time will help build endurance. And you will be able to perform other exercises better.

Now you know why you’re going to plan. Let’s see how to do standard plank exercises and its other variations to target the different muscles in your body.




Plank exercises

1. Traditional Plank

plank exercise

This is the most basic form of plank and works on your entire body. One thing to keep in mind – your hands must be just below your shoulders and your body must be in the same line. How to do the traditional basic plank.

Goals – Strengthening core, glute, shoulders and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1.  Your arms must form a straight line from your shoulders to the elbows.
  2. Push your body up and support it on your palms and balls on your feet.
  3. Keep your back straight and your toes adjusted with your entire body; all in one line.
  4. Do not tighten your neck. Hold the absences, by sewing the navel in.
  5. Hold the plank for at least 30 seconds.
  6. Release and repeat.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

2. Forearm Plank

the forearm plank exercise
shutterstock

 

The forearm plank,  is a variation of plank exercise made (as the name suggests) on your forearms. This works exactly as the first exercise, but also targets your upper back and shoulder muscles. How to do it correctly.

Goals – Core, glute, shoulders, lats and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Assume the plank position. Keep your abs tight, back straight, and your shoulders, back and body in one line.
  2. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders.
  3. Close your right fist, bend your right elbow and rest your entire forearm on the floor. Do it with your left hand. Now you will be in a lower and a more challenging position.
  4. Make sure the elbows are under your shoulders and your abs is tight. Hold this place for 15-30 seconds.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

3. Side Elbow Plank

side elbow plank

Side Elbow Plank is a variation of the underarm. It is also done as a beginner version of Side Plank. Although this variation puts a little more pressure on your shoulders, it is easier to balance.

Goals – Core, glute, adductor, outer and inner obliques and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Sit down on the right side and hold your upper body by placing your elbow and forearm on the floor perpendicular to your upper arm, with the palms flat on the floor. Flex both your knees a little and hold your left foot on the right one. Place your right arm on the right side of your waistband.
  2. Lift slowly and stab your hips against the ceiling and hold this bag for 30 seconds. Be sure to breathe in and breathe out.
  3. Repeat on the other side.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

4. Star Underarm Plank

star plank exercise

 

This is an advanced variant of Side Elbow Plank. It challenges your flexibility, strength and balance.

Goals – Core, glute, adductor, outer and inner obliques and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Sit down on the right side and hold your upper body by placing your elbow and forearm on the floor perpendicular to your upper arm, with the palms flat on the floor. Keep your legs straight, with your left foot at the top right.
  1. Lift your hips and then lift your left leg toward the sky.
  2. Raise your leg as high as possible and try to hold your big toe with your raised arm.
  3. If you’re not flexible enough to hold your hand, it’s okay; just raise it as much as you can and hold the position.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Rest – 25 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

5. Hip Dips

side plank hip dips

shutterstock

This movement is very effective for toning these love handles, getting rid of muffin tops and whittling your waistband. It is targeted to your obliques, abdominals and even your lats.

Goals – Core, glutes, adductors, outer and inner obliques, shoulders and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Get into the Side Elbow Plank position and balance yourself.
  2. Dip your lower hip against the floor and lift again.
  3. Make 10 dips on each side.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

6. Plank hip twist 

plank hip dips

 

Hip twists are one of the best plank exercises to tone your waist and strengthen your core.

Target – Core, Glute, Adductor and Biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Start in the forearm plank position.
  2. Turn your hips and touch each hip on the floor in turn. The movement will be like this – turn and touch the right hip, then turn and touch the left hip.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

7. Side Arm Plank

Side Arm Plank
shutterstock

 

This is a variation of the traditional plank. It is very effective to correct the upper back position and target your upper back fat. This step is great for toning obliques.

Target – Core, Glute, Adductor, Obliques and Biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Place your right palm flat on the mat, with your fingers straight forward. Spot your left knee and put your left foot in front of your right leg, close to your stomach, with your left thigh and shine at approx. 30 degrees with each other.
  2. Lift your hips to the ceiling, open your left hand and support your body on a fully extended right hand and the outermost part of your right foot. Lift your left foot and place it on the right foot.
  3. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

8. Star Side Arm Plank

Star Side Arm Plank

 

Star Side Arm Plank is a variation of the Side Arm Plank exercise. It is a very advanced feature that requires a lot of balance. 

Goals – Core, glute, adductor, obliques, shoulders and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Place your right palm flat on the mat, with your fingers straight forward. Spot your left knee and put your left foot in front of the right leg, close to your stomach, with your left thigh and shine at approx. 30 degrees with each other.
  2. Lift your hips to the ceiling, open your left hand and support your body on a fully extended right hand and outermost part of your right foot. Now lift your left foot and place it on the right side.
  3. Lift your left leg so your body is in full open bag now, as if you want to give someone a big hug!
  1. Hold this position for 15 seconds,  turn and repeat on the other side.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

9. Rolling plank exercise

rolling plank exercise

 

The rolling plank exercise is a core strengthening and cardio exercise that is excellent for your hips, waist, core and arms. This movement can be done on both arms and forearms.

Target – Core, glute, obliques, shoulders, biceps and wrist bouts and extensors.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Start in the forearm plank position and make sure you have the form correctly.
  2. Lift your right arm and turn your body to the left in a Side Elbow Plank.
  3. The difference here is that you do not stack your feet apart. Just turn and get to the forearm position again, then turn to the other side.
  4. Without losing the balance, turn from side to side. The movement will be like this – left to center to right and back to center.
  5. Make 20 rolls to complete a set.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

10. Plank leg raises

Plank leg raises

 

Plank with leg lifts strengthens your entire upper body. Raising a leg reinforces the work done by your core stabilizers. This helps build their power.

Target – Core, glute, obliques, shoulders, biceps and wrist bouts and extensors.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Enter the standard plank position. Keep your arms locked and abs tight.
  2. Lift one leg as high as possible, or until it is parallel to the ground. Hold for 10 breaths.
  3. Lower the leg and lift the other leg.

Rest – 20 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

11. Plank Up-Downs

plank up downs

 

This is a hard (but fun) plank exercise that helps build strength and endurance. Here are the muscles that it works on.

Target – Core, glute, shoulders, lats, biceps and wrist bouts and extensors.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Enter the standard plank position.
  2. Bend your right elbow and put your forearm down. Then bend the left elbow and put the left forearm down too. Now you are in a forearm plank.
  3. Straight left arm and then right arm. Back to standard plank position.
  4. The movement is like this – Plank to Underarm Plank and then Underarm Plank to Plank.
  5. Make 10 reps to complete a set.

Rest – 25 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

12. Plank With Oblique Crunch

plank oblique crunch

 

Plank with slanted button is an intense feature for your oblique and abdomen. You can do it on a mat or use a Bosu ball.

Goals – Core, glute, obliques, shoulders, lower back and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Get into a standard plank position and tighten your abs.
  2. Bend your left knee, turn it to the side and touch the elbow with it. Squeeze your left obliques.
  3. Turn your leg back and repeat with the other leg.
  4. Repeat 15 times on each page to complete a set.

Rest – 25 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

13. Swiss Ball Plank

swiss-ball-plank-wayfitness.net/

This is a raised plank that needs a Swiss ball. It intensifies the work on your core stabilizers.

Goals – Core, Glute and Biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Squeeze your fists and put them on a Swiss ball at shoulder width apart.
  2. Roll your shoulders back. Balance your body on your forearms, stretch your legs back, and support your lower body on your bent toes.
  3. Keep your thighs in line with your hips and core connection. Keep this bag for 15 seconds or until you feel the burn in your core.

Rest – 15 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

14. Tummy Tucks

tummy tuck plank exercise

Tummy tucks are good for cardio and for targeting your abdominal muscles.

Goals – Core, Glute, Hamstrings, Quads, Shoulders and Biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. keep your hands flat on the mat, and keep arms straight, with your legs fully extended behind you and your core tightened.
  2. Lift your left leg, bend your left knee, grab it against the chest and take the leg back to the starting position.
  3. Repeat with right leg.
  4. Repeat 20 times to complete a set.

Rest – 15 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

15. Plank Row

plank row : wayfitness.net/

This feature requires a set of dumbbells and resembles bent-over-rowing. This exercise works on the following muscles.

Goals – Core, glute, shoulders and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Grab a few dumbbells and get into the plank position.
  2. Bend your elbow and touch the hand wall to your chest and lower it.
  3. Repeat on the other side. Make 10 reps for each arm.

Rest – 15 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

 

16. Plank with legs on the training ball

Plank with legs on the training ball

In this variation your legs rest on the training ball. This feature reduces the pressure on the core and intensifies the training.

Goals – Core, glute, shoulders and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Place a sports ball behind you.
  2. Get into an armrest position. Place your legs up in the gym, with your toes facing downwards.
  3. Keep this bag for 10-25 seconds.

Rest – 15 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

 

17. Plank Pikes

Plank Pikes

Again, a large cardio moves to your lower back and lower back.

Goals – Core, gluter, shoulders, lats, hamstrings, calves, quads, triceps and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Assume an arm position.
  2. Lift your heels and push your hips to the ceiling. Push your lower body inwards to form an inverted ‘V’ bag. Do not tighten your neck. Keep it good and easy.
  3. Hold this bag for 3 seconds and return to the plank position.
  4. Repeat 10 times to complete a set.

Rest – 15 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

18. Reverse Plank

reverse plank

Reverse Plank is quite challenging, but you can follow the steps to do it properly. Here are the muscles that this exercise is aimed at.

Goals – Core, gluter, shoulders, lats, hamstrings, quads, triceps and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Put your feet on the floor with your legs in front of you and put your hands behind you, hip width apart.
  2. Lift your ass from the floor until your body is in a straight line from the shoulders to the feet. This is Reverse Plank.
  3. Keep this bag for 10-20 seconds before lowering your body back to the floor.

Rest – 10 seconds

Repeat – 3 times

19. Reverse Plank with leg lift

reverse plank with leg lift

 

Reverse Plank with Leg Lift intensifies the work your core does to stabilize you in the Reverse Plank position.

Goals – Core, gluter, shoulders, lats, hamstrings, quads, triceps and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Put your feet on the floor and lift yourself in the backward position, but keep your knees bent so your thigh and shine are perpendicular to each other.
  2. Slowly raise a leg and hold it down. Make sure your raised leg is straight.
  3. Keep this bag for 10-15 seconds.

Rest – 10 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

20. Plank With Donkey Kicks

plank with donkey kicks

This is another challenging but effective variation of the plank exercise. Here the muscles are targeted.

Goals – Core, gluter, shoulders, lats, hamstrings, quads, triceps and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Come down on your hands and knees with your hands aligned with your shoulders. If you are a beginner, hold your knees. But if you are intermediate or advanced level, raise yourself on a plank.
  2. Lift one leg and curl it toward the sky by bending your knees. Hold this position.
  3. Pulse in that position  up and down, back and forth. Try small, small pulses, but press well into the floor well with each pulse.
  4. Do 12-15 pulses and then start kicking your leg.
  5. Do it with the other leg.

Rest – 10 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

 

21. Halfway Plank

half plank

Halfway Plank is an isometric feature where you move in its halfway position. Here are the muscles it targets.

Goals – Core, gluter, shoulders, lats, triceps and biceps.

Here’s how you do it
  1. Enter the plank’s position.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower yourself in a triceps push-up position.
  3. Hold it for 10 seconds, then press yourself on the plank.

Rest – 15 seconds

Repeat – 2 times

 

Still need more plank exercise ideas? Check out this video

 

 

Final thoughts

These are the 21 plank positions that help to rebuild your core and backbone. If you want to challenge yourself, you can gradually increase the team’s team time. You can do that.

4. How to improve plank time gradually

Improving plank time is a challenge and you should not bother away from it. Check out the right way to increase your plank time.

  • Warm up before starting your exercise routine.
  • Make a blend of cardio and strength training to increase your stamina and muscle strength.
  • Use the timer feature on your phone to take care of yourself.
  • Talk yourself through every extra second as you do.
  • Do not hurry.
  • Practice every day.

Now, for every plank posing, you must follow certain rules to reduce the chances of being injured. Here’s what you should be in accordance with.

5. Common plank rules to follow

  • Keep your shoulder blades pulled down.
  • Your legs, hips and hips should be in the same line.
  • Keep your core and glutes engaged.
  • Do not tighten your neck. Keep it in a neutral position, look down on the floor or up in the ceiling.
  • Avoid bending your lower part as much as possible.

Although the plank is a good exercise, it may not be the best exercise for some of you. Find out if you should plan or avoid it completely.

6. Who should avoid planning exercise?

  • If you have just had surgery.
  • If you have chest pain.
  • If you recently had birth.
  • If you have a renewed disk.
  • If you have weak bones.

You must consult your trainer and doctor before planning.

Now you already have information about planks. No more stopping – set a goal, write it down and start planning. You will see visible results in two weeks if you practice planning properly. Challenge yourself because mental fitness is as important as physical fitness. Bowl!

Expert response to readers’ questions

Do planks burn calories?

Yes! Planks burn calories. Depending on your weight, height, duration and intensity you can burn anywhere between 20-100 calories.

How long should you plank for?

As long as anyone can. Release the mental blocks and give the best to each rope you do.

How long do you plank for abs?

As far as I know, you have ab muscles; Maybe they are not yet defined, but you’ve probably got them. Sculpting your abs requires discipline and hard work. You must eat right and make a mix of cardio and strength training, planks, crunches, etc.