Discover the different types of planks and how they can strengthen your core. From different types of planks for beginners to dynamic planks for advanced exercisers, there’s a plank variation for everyone. Learn the full plank benefits, proper form, and more in this comprehensive guide.
- Get back pain doing planks? Read more.
Introduction: Planking – More Than Just a Trend
Remember when everyone was doing the plank challenge on social media? Well, it turns out, those folks were onto something. Planking isn’t just a fad – it’s a powerhouse exercise that works multiple muscles and can strengthen your core like no other.
According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, planking exercises engage up to 100% of your rectus abdominis (that’s the six-pack muscle for those of us who aren’t anatomy geeks) and 88% of your external obliques. That’s a lot of bang for your buck in one exercise!
“Planking exercises can be an efficient way to work your core, and they require no special equipment,” says Dr. John P. Porcari, a professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “They’re a great addition to any workout routine.”
But before you drop down and give me a 60-second plank, let’s talk about form. The correct form is crucial in planking. It’s not just about holding yourself up for as long as you can. It’s about engaging the right muscles and maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels.
Planks for Beginners: Starting Off on the Right Foot…or Elbow
If you’re new to planking, don’t sweat it. We all start somewhere, and there’s a perfect plank variation for beginners – the forearm plank. This type of plank is performed on your forearms and toes, with your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels.
“The forearm plank is a great starting point for beginners because it allows you to focus on your form and build up your core strength,” says personal trainer and fitness expert Jillian Michaels.
Remember, it’s not about how long you can hold the plank, but how well you can hold it. Start with short intervals, like 10 to 15 seconds, and gradually increase your time as your strength improves.
High Plank: Taking It Up a Notch
Once you’ve mastered the forearm plank, it’s time to move on to the high plank. This plank variation is performed on your hands, similar to the starting position of a push-up. The high plank engages your core, glutes, and shoulders more intensely than the forearm plank.
“The high plank is a step up from the forearm plank in terms of intensity,” says Michaels. “It requires more strength and stability, especially in your shoulders and wrists.”
Remember, slow and controlled movement is key. Don’t rush into holding a high plank for longer than you can maintain good form.
Plank Up Downs: Adding a Dynamic Twist
Ready to add some movement to your plank? Meet the plank up downs. This dynamic plank variation involves transitioning between a forearm plank and a high plank. It’s a fantastic way to challenge your core, arms, and shoulders.
“Plank up downs add a dynamic element to the traditional plank, increasing the intensity and adding an extra challenge for your upper body,” says Michaels.
Remember, the goal is to keep your hips as still as possible during the transitions. It’s harder than it sounds!
Wall Plank Exercise: A Different Perspective
Who said planks had to be done on the floor? The wall plank exercise is a fantastic variation for beginners or those with lower back issues. It’s performed by placing your feet against a wall and walking your hands out into a plank position.
“The wall plank is a great modification for those who find traditional planks too challenging or who have lower back issues,” says Michaels Benefits of Planking: More Than Just a Strong Core
You might be thinking, “All this planking sounds tough. Why should I do it?” Well, the benefits of planking extend beyond just a strong core.
According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, planking exercises can also improve your posture, balance, and overall functional fitness. They can even support your cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate.
“Planking is a full-body exercise that works multiple muscles and contributes to functional fitness,” says Dr. Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. “It’s a great addition to any fitness routine.”
Plank Pose: A Yoga Staple
If you’re a yoga enthusiast, you’re probably familiar with the plank pose. It’s a staple in many yoga sequences and for a good reason. The plank pose, also known as Phalakasana, strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine while also toning the abdominal muscles.
“The plank pose is a great way to build strength and stability,” says yoga instructor Adriene Mishler. “It’s a foundational pose in yoga that prepares you for more advanced poses.”
Walking Plank: Adding Some Steps
Ready to take your plank for a walk? The walking plank adds a lateral movement to the traditional plank, challenging your stability and coordination.
“The walking plank adds a new dimension to the traditional plank,” says Michaels. “It’s a great way to challenge your stability and work your obliques.”
Remember, the goal is to keep your hips as still as possible as you “walk” your hands and feet to the side.
Does the Plank Give You Abs? The Truth Revealed
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Can I do different types of planks for abs? The short answer is yes, but there’s a catch. While planking can strengthen your abs and make them more defined, they won’t be visible if there’s a layer of fat covering them.
“Planking can strengthen your abs and make them more defined, but you also need to follow a balanced diet and do regular cardio to lose any excess fat,” says Michaels.
Modified Plank: Making It Accessible for Everyone
Not everyone can perform a traditional plank, and that’s okay. There are plenty of modified plank variations that can make this exercise more accessible. One such variation is the knee plank, where you perform a plank on your hands or forearms with your knees on the ground.
“The knee plank is a great modification for those who find the traditional plank too challenging,” says Michaels. “It allows you to build up your strength and work on your form.”
Plank Crunches: A Two-in-One Exercise
If you’re looking to add some extra intensity to your plank, try plank crunches. This exercise combines a plank with a knee-to-elbow crunch, working your abs from multiple angles.
“Plank crunches are a fantastic way to add some extra intensity to your plank,” says Michaels. “They work your abs from multiple angles and add a dynamic element to the exercise.”
Remember, the key is to move slowly and control your movement. Don’t rush the crunch!
Planking Exercise for Beginners: Getting Started
If you’re a beginner, don’t be intimidated by some of the more advanced plank variations. Everyone starts somewhere, and there are plenty different types of planks for beginners to get you started.
“If you’re new to planking, start with the forearm or knee plank and focus on your form,” says Michaels. “As your strength improves, you can start to try more advanced variations.”
Remember, it’s not about how long you can hold the plank, but how well you can hold it. Start with short intervals and gradually increase your time as your strength improves.
Knee Plank: A Great Modification
The knee plank is a great modification for those who find the traditional plank too challenging. It allows you to build up your strength and work on your form.
“The knee plank is a great modification for those who find the traditional plank too challenging,” says Michaels. “It allows you to build up your strength and work on your form.”
Modify Plank: Making It Work for You
Not everyone can perform a traditional plank, and that’s okay. There are plenty of ways to modify the plank to make it more accessible.
“There are plenty of ways to modify the plank to make it more accessible,” says Michaels. “From the knee plank to the wall plank, there’s a plank variation for everyone.”
Straight Arm Plank: A Classic Variation
The straight arm plank, also known as the high plank, is a classic plank variation. It’s performed on your hands, similar to the starting position of a push-up.
“The straight arm plank is a classic plank variation that’s great for working your core, glutes, and shoulders,” says Michaels.
Up and Down Plank: Adding Some Movement
The up and down plank, also known as the plank up downs, adds some movement to the traditional plank. It’s a great way to challenge your stability and work your upper body.
“The up and down plank adds a dynamic element to the traditional plank,” says Michaels. “It’s a great way to challenge your stability and work your upper body.”
Dynamic Plank: Keeping It Interesting
The dynamic plank is a plank variation that involves movement, such as the walking plank or the plank up downs. It’s a great way to keep your plank routine interesting and challenge your body in new ways.
“Dynamic planks are a great way to keep your plank routine interesting and challenge your body in new ways,” says Michaels.
Five Different Types of Plank Exercises
There are several different types of planks, and each of them has its own specific benefits. Forearm planks are especially beneficial for strengthening the forearm muscles. Side planks are great for reducing love handles and improving upper body flexibility. In side forearm planks, you start in the plank position with your arms extended, shoulders over your elbows, and hips stacked. You can stack your feet on top of one another or hold them apart with one hand. As your body tightens and your muscles become stronger, you can move your hands to the side, turning your torso, and reaching past your hip.
Performing Different Types of Planks
Forearm plank is a core strengthening exercise. This exercise requires the participant to place his elbows directly under his shoulders. The humerus should be perpendicular to the horizontal plane. While in the plank position, the arms should be held in neutral position. The participant should assume a rigid anatomical body position: phalangeal extension, neutral ankle, knee and hip positions, and neutral spinal posture.
A forearm plank works the abdominal muscles and obliques. These are two muscle groups that stretch from the hips to the ribcage. They aid in anti-extension and torso twisting. As a result, performing this exercise is beneficial for the torso, hips, and obliques. If performed correctly, forearm planks should help improve posture and form.
While forearm planks are an effective way to improve core strength, it is important to remember that they require proper form. The correct form will engage the abdominals and back muscles and keep the body in a straight line. Sivan Fagan, ACE-certified personal trainer, demonstrates how to perform a plank. Follow the steps below to get a stronger core. And don’t forget to stretch your shoulders!
If you are a beginner, you can start by practicing forearm planks on the floor. Once you have perfected the basics, you can begin the full plank. Hold each rep for three seconds and increase the time between each repetition. You can work up to 60 seconds without breaking your back. You can try this exercise multiple times per day, depending on your fitness level and the time you have to spare. You can also add 10 seconds each day until you reach the goal.
Side planks are popular different types of planks for weight loss that requires the body to stay in a straight line, with the shoulders and hips positioned directly opposite each other. To perform this exercise, begin by placing your top hand on the ground and then extending your top leg to the side. Hold this position for up to one minute, or longer if you can. Depending on your level of fitness, you can do a single rep or up to 15 repetitions per side.
The proper form for this exercise is crucial. You should aim to stay in a side plank for 60 seconds at the beginning, and gradually increase your time until your hips and spine do not sag. Aside from focusing on your core and glutes, you can also make the exercise more challenging by adding a leg or arm to the exercise. Listed below are some tips for performing a side plank exercise.
As an added benefit, side planks strengthen the glutes, which are key when cycling. If you want to get the most out of this bodyweight exercise, you can add one of the six variations to your bodyweight workout. Be sure to watch the video below to learn more about the benefits of the side plank. The benefits are numerous. Not only does this exercise target the muscles in the obliques and thighs, but it also burns fat and calories.
The side plank is the perfect exercise for anyone seeking to build core strength. This workout involves lowering the lower back and limbs until you feel a slight pain. It is also an excellent form of flexibility. You can try it with a yoga ball if you don’t have a hard floor or can’t hold a position for longer than 30 seconds. This exercise can be repeated for up to 3 sets, each of which should be 30 seconds.
Reverse plank exercises are great for developing core strength and building your arms. You need to keep your hands and arms straight. Start with three sets of 10 seconds and then increase the length of the hold to thirty seconds. You can also add a few leg kicks to the mix. The goal is to strengthen your posterior chain, so you can lift heavier weights in the future. To start, sit on a mat and extend your legs. Firmly press the heels of your feet into the mat.
Reverse planks can be the hardest plank or easy depending on your experience and technique. Reverse planks are a good choice for beginners, injury sufferers, and those who just don’t feel like working out on a regular basis. To start, try lifting one leg towards the ceiling and lowering it back down with control. Make sure to keep your head and arms straight. If you find it difficult to stay on the position, try performing a modified version of the standard plank.
When performed correctly, reverse plank exercises improve the flexibility of the entire core, including the hips, shoulders, and arms. This helps to lose weight and tonify muscles faster. This exercise can also improve athletic performance. The benefits of reverse plank exercises go beyond just developing your abdominal muscles. They help improve your flexibility and strengthen your hamstrings, hips, and ankles. In fact, many people use this exercise as part of their core training routine.
Reverse planks are also beneficial for your back. By strengthening your core, you can prevent many problems related to your back. Side planks have been shown to prevent the need for spine surgery in many people. The benefits are numerous. Aside from being great for your back, planks improve your posture. And a strong back means a healthy life. When you do these exercises correctly, you can avoid painful conditions caused by poor posture.
Knee to inside elbow plank
If you want to build core strength, you should try the knee to inside elbow plank. The exercise is similar to a basic plank, except that you will rock forward on your toes and pull your shoulders back. This is a very challenging exercise that will challenge your balance and coordination, and train your shoulder strength. If you find that your knees hurt, try this variation. You can also do it on your hands or forearms.
The key difference between this exercise and the standard plank is the fact that you place more stress on one side of your body. In this case, you want to focus on the left side. The goal is to make sure that your right arm is pointed toward the sky and your left arm is pointed up. If you have trouble maintaining a straight back and a strong core, you can try balancing on your forearm, which is a good alternative for those with lower back pain.
The knee to inside elbow plank is an excellent way to build core strength and improve balance and posture. However, it is important to perform it with proper technique as incorrect technique can lead to injury. This exercise is a progression from the knee to elbow plank, and should be performed at least two to four times per week. If you’re not sure how to start, read the steps below for a guide to knee to inside elbow plank exercises.
As with any standard plank, start in a standard position with your legs slightly wider than hip-width. Keep your legs straight while your arms are supported by the outside elbows. Now bring the right leg under your body. As you do, your left leg should feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings. Once you’ve mastered the standard plank, you can advance to the knee to inside elbow plank.
High plank exercises target the back muscles, but they also strengthen the upper body and are good for improving overall core strength. The high plank is a common exercise performed on a flat surface, but you can add a twist by using a parallel leg. The following exercises are a variation of the high plank. Here are some of the most common variations. These exercises work the back muscles, but they are not as demanding as push-ups.
The benefits of different types of planks include increased core strength and better balance. A strong core helps the body carry its weight and is crucial for a good posture. A strong core will reduce the risk of back pain. And planks strengthen the four main muscle groups: abdominal, back, and shoulder. It can even strengthen the pelvis and relieve back pain. You can perform this exercise at any time to burn belly fat and get toned abs.
The high plank exercise is a core-strengthening exercise that requires abdominals, glutes, and arms. It is a perfect total-body workout, but many people make the mistake of looking up and forward. This kills their entire form and strains the neck. To avoid straining the neck, try holding a tennis ball between your chin and neck. This will keep your spine neutral and prevent you from injuring any muscles.
The high plank exercise requires the stability of the core. Start in a standing position with feet about hip-width apart. With the knees bent, bend your knees, and keep your core tightly engaged. Your goal is to hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, which equates to 10-12 reps. You can also modify this exercise by adding a forearm plank. As with any core exercise, proper form is important to avoid injury.
Conclusion: Planking Your Way to a Stronger Core
Planking is a versatile exercise that can be modified and varied to suit your fitness level and goals. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced exerciser, there’s a plank variation for you. So why not give it a try? Your core will thank you.
“Planking is a versatile exercise that can be modified and varied to suit your fitness level and goals,” says Michaels. “Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced exerciser, there’s a plank variation for you. So why not give it a try? Your core will thank you.”
Remember, always warm up before starting your workout, and stretch afterwards to promote recovery. Happy planking!
- Journal of Physical Therapy Science
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel here!