Plank Exercise: Benefits, Variations, Muscles worked, Tips

The plank is a brilliant bodyweight exercise that helps you to develop the strength and stability of your core. Your muscles are exercised isometrically.

The plank is more of a strength-building exercise than a cardio exercise, engaging a range of muscles can also help to boost your calorie burn.

Plank Exercise Benefits, Variations, Muscles worked, Tips

The most common plank is the forearm plank, which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body’s weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. Many variations exist, such as the side plank and the reverse plank.

The side plank is one of the best abs exercises for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles, which don’t get worked as much during abs exercises such as crunches. You will hold your body on your side in a straight position, supported only by one arm and the side of one foot. Strong obliques can be quite useful as core stabilization muscles.

Muscles Worked During Plank Exercises

The plank position makes an effective component for your workout, as it engages a wide range of major muscle groups. The primary areas affected are the abs and back, including the erector spinae and the rectus abdominus, and the transverse abdominus.

In addition, the position uses the trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids, and pectoral muscles, of the upper body, as well as the gluteus maximus and quadriceps of the lower body.

Plank Muscles Worked

Benefits of Plank Exercises

1. Strengthen the Core and work upper and lower body muscles

When you perform plank exercises, you work all of the muscles that make up your core and gain all of the benefits that come with building a strong core. As if that wasn’t enough, planks also work the following muscles:

UPPER BODY

  • Trapezius
  • Rhomboid major and minor
  • Rotator cuff
  • Anterior, medial, and posterior delts
  • Pectorals
  • Triceps
  • Biceps

LOWER BODY

  • Quadriceps
  • Gastrocnemius (calf muscle)
2. Prevent muscle imbalances

It’s easy to develop muscle imbalances when only performing abdominal exercises (such as sit-ups). Most people do not perform spinal and gluteal strengthening exercises to compensate for the abdominal work.

Planks condition the front and back of the body simultaneously. When muscles are comparably developed on both sides of the body, the result is better posture, more spinal support, and less lower-back pain.

3. Improve functional movement

One of the best persuading points for planks is their relevance when it comes to functional movement, which is an essential
movement to living life. Things such as squatting, bending, running, lifting, jumping, and throwing are all functional
movements initiated in the core.

4. Provide a safe and effective alternative to Crunches and sit-ups

While sit-ups are an important functional movement for daily life (for example, the ability to get out of bed every morning),
they are not always the best core conditioning choice for everyone.

Crunches and sit-ups only work the muscles on the front side of the core, so it’s necessary to do back strengthening exercises as well. However, planks work the entire core, as well as many other muscles in the body.

5. Burn calories and fat

Plank variation is the combination of strength and cardiovascular exercise. These plank variations exercises can help you to burn calories and regulate your weight. They may also help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart disease.

6. Offer versatile exercise

The best thing about planks is that there are countless variations of the exercise, ranging from traditional and side plank variations to planks using external weights or unstable surfaces.

There is a plank for everybody and every fitness level. If one doesn’t work for you because of injury, body type, imbalance, or a lack of requisite strength, there are many other options. Entire workouts can be programmed around the plank.

Here are the 33 Best Plank Exercise Variation

1. Knee Plank

Knee plank is the beginner variation of the forearm plank Exercise. The beginner plank focuses on core activation and core strengthening, while at the same time decreasing the stress on the low back, making it a fantastic core exercise.

Once you master the Forearm Plank on your knees, you can move up to a full Forearm Plank. These planks should be done in time increments.

Knee Plank Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Lie faces down on an exercise mat with your elbows to your sides, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Bend your knees, so your feet are up in the air, then press into your forearms and rise up on your knees so that only your forearms and knees touch the floor.
  3. Your body should hover a few inches off the floor in a straight line from shoulders to knees.
  4. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

2. High Plank

The High Plank aka full plank Exercise is the cornerstone of all the plank variations. The ability to hold a stable full plank is a benchmark for fitness and core strength. It’s important to practice proper technique as you build the strength necessary to perform a full plank and modifications of it.

A strong full plank exercise provides the foundation for moving into progressions involving external weight and unstable surfaces such as stability balls, and medicine balls.

High Plank Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Lie face down on an exercise mat with hands should be shoulder-width apart; your knees should be about hip-width apart, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Start to get in a push-up position, lift your knees off the ground and step your feet back so that your legs are straight and fully extended.
  3. Keep your core, butt, and quads tight, and avoid arching your back. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  4. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Keep your legs and body straight.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

3. Forearm Plank

The front plank Exercise is a brilliant bodyweight exercise that helps you to develop the strength and stability of your core. Your muscles are exercised isometrically.

The most common plank is the forearm plank, which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body’s weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes.

To make the exercise more difficult, raise one leg off the ground and hold this position before repeating with the other leg.

Forearm Plank Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Lie face down on an exercise mat with your elbows to your sides, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Start to get in a pushup position, bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands.
  3. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  4. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

4. Plank Reach

Plank reach requires a great deal of core stabilization strength and balance. This move is a moving forearm plank that forces you to activate your core as you move to different positions.

You’re going to come onto your elbows and find a nice, solid core. From here, you’re going to reach one hand forward, and then alternate. Notice that my hips are not moving. That is your goal, to keep your hips nice and still, and parallel to the ground.

Plank Reach Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Start in a forearm plank with your palms flat, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your elbows, legs extended behind you.
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  3. Reach forward with your right hand and tap the floor in front of you. Return your forearm to the starting position.
  4. Then reach forward with your left hand and tap the floor in front of you. Return to the starting position.
  5. Continue alternating as quickly as you can.
Tips
  • Focus on engaging your core, and avoid dropping your hips toward the floor. Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

5. Plank to Pushup

A Plank to Push-up is a full-body exercise and variation of a plank. The move takes a standard plank to the next level by adding an element of controlled, moving arm work.

Maintaining a plank position, you alternate between a forearm plank and a high plank. This exercise serves as an excellent core strengthener.

Plank to Pushup Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Lie face down on an exercise mat with hands should be shoulder-width apart; your knees should be about hip-width apart, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Start to get in a pushup position, bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands.
  3. Keep your core, butt, and quads tight, and avoid arching your back. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  4. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Press your body up into the top position of a pushup by extending your arms one at a time.
  5. Pause, then reverse the movement and return to your elbows. That’s 1 rep
Tips
  • Keep your legs and body straight.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

6. Weighted front plank

The weighted front plank is a great exercise for improving core strength and stability. In a front plank position, the core muscles are exercised isometrically.

To make the weighted front plank easier, you can perform it on your knees instead of on your toes.

Weighted front plank Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Start in a forearm plank position with your elbow flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  3. Have your spotter place a weight plate on your back. Holf front plank position with the weight plate on your back.
  4. Hold this position for a set amount of time. Have your spotter remove the weight plate from your back, before slowly getting out of the front plank position.
Tips
  • .Do not let your lower back sag or your hips rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

7. Side Plank on knee

Side plank on the knee is the beginner variation of the side plank exercise. If you’re new to planking, you should master this modified knee side plank before moving on to the side plank variation.

Side planks strengthen your obliques and entire core. Side planks not only build strength in your shoulder and arm but deep contraction in your oblique muscle and hip.

Side Plank on knee Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your right side on the floor with your left knee rested on your right knee and your left arm rested on top of your left side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your right forearm flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Lift your torso until your right upper arm is straight underneath you, with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your forearm flat on the floor.
  4. In this position, only your right forearm and the right knee are making contact with the floor and your body forms a diagonal line that is at about a 20-degree angle to the floor.
  5. Keep your abs pulled in tight and hold this position for as long as you can, and then repeat on the left side.
Tips
  • Keep your legs and body straight.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

8. High Side Plank

A High side plank strengthens your obliques and entire core and helps you work your way to a flatter tummy and stronger back. Side planks also strengthen your shoulders, arms, and upper back muscles.

A side plank exercise is definitely a way to shape and tone your waistline, but it also targets your hips, core, and all stabilizer muscles. It challenges your balance by requiring these stabilizers to activate and work as you hold your plank and pull your muscles in.

High Side Plank exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your lift side on the floor with your right foot rested on top the left foot and your right arm above your side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your left palm flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso. Lift your torso until your left arm is straight underneath you.
  3. In this position, only your left arm and the left foot are making contact with the floor and your body forms a diagonal line that is at about a 20-degree angle to the floor.
  4. Keep your abs pulled in tight and hold this position for as long as you can, and then repeat on the right side.
Tips
  • Keep your legs and body straight.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

9. Forearm Side Plank

The side plank is one of the best abs exercises for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles, which don’t get worked as much during abs exercises such as crunches.

You will hold your body on your side in a straight position, supported only by one arm and the side of one foot. Strong obliques can be quite useful as core stabilization muscles.

If you find it hard to hold a side plank, that’s OK. You can try performing the exercise from your knees instead of your feet while you’re building your strength.

Forearm Side Plank exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your left side on the floor with your right foot rested on top of the inner side of your left foot and your right arm rested on top of your right side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your left forearm flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Lift your torso until your left upper arm is straight underneath you, with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your forearm flat on the floor.
  4. In this position, only your left forearm and the outer side of your left foot are making contact with the floor and your body forms a diagonal line that is at about a 20-degree angle to the floor.
  5. Keep your abs pulled in tight and hold this position for as long as you can, and then repeat on the right side.
Tips
  • Keep your legs and body straight.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

10. Side Plank and Rotate

The side plank with rotation exercise develops core and shoulder strength & stability, and may even help improve spinal mobility.

To optimize these benefits, make sure that you’re doing this exercise in perfect form.

Side Plank and Rotate Exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your left side on the floor with your right foot rested on top of the inner side of your left foot and your right arm rested on top of your right side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your left arm (palm) flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Lift your torso until your left upper arm is straight underneath you, with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your arm flat on the floor.
  4. In this position, only your left arm and the outer side of your left foot are making contact with the floor.
  5. Reach under and behind your torso with your right hand, keeping your abs braced. And then repeat on the right side.
Tips
  • Try to twist as far as you can. The goal is to twist till your chest is parallel to the ground.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

11. Plank with Arm Extension

There are several variations to the basic plank exercise. Plank with arm extension is just one of these variations.

Simply holding a plank position is a tough workout for your core. Plank with arm extension doubles the difficulty by asking you to hold that position with one arm raised in front of your body.

The main goal of this great core exercise is to raise one arm off the floor so that your fingers are pointing straight ahead with your palm facing inward.

Plank with Arm Extension exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Lie face down on an exercise mat with your elbows to your sides, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Start to get in a pushup position, bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands.
  3. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  4. Raise and straighten your left arm, and hold it so that it’s parallel to the rest of your body.
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time and slowly lower to the starting position, then raise your other arm and repeat.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

12. One-Leg Plank

The classic plank exercise is cool and all, but plank leg raises really take it to the next level. Adding leg raises (aka leg lifts) can boost the intensity and activate more of your abdominal and lower-body muscles. Butts and guts, watch out — plank leg raises are coming for you.

Adding leg raises can help activate your ab muscles more than regular planks, and they’re effective at strengthening your core. With a strong core comes good posture, better balance, and even a healthier back.

One-Leg Plank exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Lie faced down on an exercise mat with your elbows to your sides, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Start to get in a push-up position, bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands.
  3. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  4. Raise one foot a few inches off the floor and hold. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
  5. Lower your foot and repeat with your other foot.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

13. Forearm Side Plank Crunch

Combine your standard crunches with side plank exercise into one move that will challenge your balance, tone up your waist, and strengthen your core.

Side plank crunches work your whole body by combining all the core actions you get from a traditional plank with some extra love for your shoulders and hips.

Your obliques get hit doubly hard in this exercise: The side closest to the ground has to stay engaged the whole time to keep the body stable, while the side you’re crunching contracts and relaxes over and over again.

Forearm Side Plank Crunch exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your left side on the floor with your right foot rested on top of the inner side of your left foot and your right arm rested on top of your right side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your left forearm flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Lift your torso until your left upper arm is straight underneath you, with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your forearm flat on the floor. Extend your left arm over your head.
  4. Lift your right leg and drive your knee toward your torso. At the same time, bring your right arm in toward your knee in a crunch movement.
  5. Continue for a set amount of time, and then repeat on the other side.
Tips
  • Don’t let your hips drop or rotate—the movement should come just from your core.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

14. Alternating Superman Plank and Reach

The Superman Plank is an isometric training exercise. Before training with this plank variation, you should have a solid understanding and form of the more fundamental planks.

The main benefits of a regular plank — improved core strength and stability, are all ramped up with the Superman plank, which halves the number of limbs in contact with the floor to provide an extra challenge to your balance.

This exercise is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve core strength in the lower back and obliques.

Alternating Superman Plank and Reach exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Lie faced down on an exercise mat with your elbows to your sides, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floors.
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs.
  3. Raise your right foot and left arm off the floor and hold. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
  4. Return to the floor and repeat with your left foot and right arm.
Tips
  • Make sure that when you raise your arm and leg, your body doesn’t rotate, and your hips don’t rise
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your head in line with the rest of your body.

15. Inchworm

The Inchworm is a full-body exercise that increases strength and flexibility. Your body weight is the only gym equipment you need to make this low-impact exercise highly effective. Inspired by the rhythmic movements of inchworms, this move covers all the bases: core, arms, chest, and upper back.

The inchworm exercise helps strengthen the muscles of your anterior chain (the front half of your body) while stretching the muscles of your posterior chain (the back half of your body).

Inchworm
Execution Technique
  1. Stand tall, your feet hip-distance apart. Hinge forward at your hips and place your palms on the mat. You can bend your knees if needed to get your palms flat on the floor.
  2. Walk your hands forward so that you’re in high plank. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs.
  3. Walk your hands back in toward your feet, keeping your legs as straight as possible.
  4. Roll back up to a standing position.
Tips
  • Try to prevent your torso from swaying from side to side during the exercise.
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

16. Planking Frog Tuck

This workout is a very challenging and effective way. It will strengthen the core and flatten your stomach.

Planking Frog Tuck
Execution Technique
  1. Lie faced down on an exercise mat with your elbows to your sides, your head facing forward, and palms flat on the floor.
  2. Start to get in a push-up position, bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands.
  3. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs.
  4. Bring your right foot forward and place it next to your right hand (or as close as you can).
  5. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat with your left leg.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

17. Plank Toe Taps

Plank With Toe Taps is a bodyweight exercise best plank variation, when done correctly, it can effectively target your arms, core, neck, upper body, lower body, and waist.

Stepping your foot out to the side also works your hip abductors, the muscles in the outside of the glutes that are responsible for bringing your legs away from your body. They also help keep your hips stable when you run.

Plank Toe Taps exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs.
  3. Step your right foot a few inches out to the right. Then, bring it back to the starting position. Step your left foot a few inches out to the left.
  4. Then, bring it back to the starting position. Continue for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

18. Plank Jack

The plank jack is a combination of two very common exercises: the plank and (big surprise) the jumping jack.

The plank jack is a combination of cardio and core-strengthening exercises. They can help you strengthen the muscles of both the upper and lower body.

Adding plank jacks to your exercise routine a few times a week may also increase core strength and stability, burn calories, and help reduce fat.

Plank Jack exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut..
  3. Jump your feet out to the sides and back in (like jumping jacks). Keep your hips stable so that they do not bounce up and down as you jump your feet in and out.
  4. Continue for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

19. Plank Shoulder Tap

The plank shoulder taps exercise trains and strengthen your core, glutes, arms, wrists, and shoulders. This exercise helps to reduce lower back pain, improves your posture and flexibility, and tightens your midsection.

The unilateral aspect of this helps make sure you’re working both sides of your body equally. If you find your hips rocking during this move, you can widen your legs for balance.

Plank Shoulder Tap exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs.
  3. Tap your left hand to your right shoulder while engaging your core and glutes to keep your hips as still as possible. Try not to rock from side to side.
  4. Do the same with your right hand to your left shoulder. That’s 1 rep.
Tips
  • Tighten your core, engage your glutes, and keep your spine, head and neck aligned.
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.

20. Plank Row

The plank row is also known as a renegade row, which is almost a variation of the dumbbell row exercise. It is designed to target the upper back, chest, abs, and oblique. Like a plank, it is designed to target the core.

The renegade row is a multitasking exercise that tones your back and works your core, while also testing your balance and stability. It’s the ultimate functional strength-training move that will give you a huge back.

Plank Row
Execution Technique
  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Start in the top position of a push-up position with your hands on the weights.
  2. Pull right elbow back, raising dumbbell toward chest, keeping right elbow close to the torso, abs tight, and hips in one line.
  3. Hold for one second at the top and return the weight slowly to the starting position to repeat on the other side.
  4. Complete the desired number of repetitions.
Tips
  • Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  • Do not jerk the weight up. Row weight in a smooth controlled motion.
  • Make sure you do the same number of repetitions for each arm.

21. Lateral Plank Walk

The Lateral Plank Walk is a full-body exercise that mainly targets your core and shoulders. Take a walk on the wild side as well, as wild as a plank can get.

This move intensely engages your core like a classic plank, but the side-to-side motion works your arms and delts, too. Plus, it’ll challenge your balance and stability.

The faster you “walk,” the more challenging this will be cardiovascular. Slow down if you need to dial down the intensity a bit.

Lateral Plank Walk exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs.
  3. Take a step to the right starting with your right hand and right foot and following with your left hand and foot, maintaining a plank position as you move.
  4. Do a set amount of reps in one direction, and then repeat the same number of reps moving in the opposite direction.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

22. Side Plank with Hip Abduction

The side plank hip abduction is an advanced variation of side plank exercise that you can do to target the obliques and outer thighs.

The hip abductors move the legs away from the body and rotate them at the hip joint so this plays an important role in keeping your knee and hip joints stable.

Side Plank with Hip Abduction
Execution Technique
  1. Lie on the floor, on your left side, side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and legs stacked. Place your free hand on your hip.
  2. Straighten your body and legs. Your feet should be together, and your hip should be resting on the floor.
  3. Brace your abs and lift your hips off the floor until you’re balancing on your forearm and feet and your body forms a diagonal line.
  4. Lift your right leg at least 6 inches. Slowly bring your feet back together and lower your hip to the floor. Repeat on your right side.
Tips
  • Do not let your hips or shoulder sag, do not let your body rotate.
  • keep your core tight, so that your upper body remains stable, maintain your top leg straight.
  • Breathe out as you lift your top leg and squeeze the outer thigh.

23. Tabletop Reverse Pike

Tabletop reverses pike targets and trains your arms and core and improves your overall strength and stability. This exercise additionally engages your shoulders, glutes, and legs. providing you with excellent full-body exertion.

Tabletop Reverse Pike
Execution Technique
  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your palms, with fingers spread wide, on the floor slightly behind and outside your hips.
  2. Press palms into the ground and lift hips off the floor until knees are at 90 degrees, and body is parallel with the floor.
  3. Arms should be straight with hands directly under the shoulders, with ankles directly under knees.
  4. Engage your abs and balance on your heels and hands.
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Your arms should be vertical and your body should be perfectly straight.
  • Don’t allow your hips to sag or your shoulders to hunch.

24. High reverse plank

The reverse plank exercise is an often-overlooked exercise that is great for the core. It is a great bodyweight exercise for strengthening your core and the key muscles of your posterior chain, namely, your erector spinae, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings.

Beginners should start with learning the regular plank. Progress to holding the reverse plank for just a few seconds at a time with good form. The direction in which your fingers point while performing the high reverse plank doesn’t matter. You can point them forward, sideways, backward—whichever is most comfortable for you.

Make the high reverse plank more difficult by placing a weight on your abdomen and/or elevating your feet so that your body is horizontal.

High reverse plank
Execution Technique
  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your palms, with fingers spread wide, on the floor slightly behind and outside your hips.
  2. Raise your hips off the floor until your body is straight. keep your arms and legs straight and Look up to the ceiling.
  3. Keep your entire body strong and form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  4. Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Your arms should be vertical and your body should be perfectly straight.
  • Don’t allow your hips to sag or your shoulders to hunch.

24. Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers are an explosive bodyweight exercise that engages multiple muscle groups at once, helping to improve your balance, agility, coordination, strength, flexibility, and blood circulation. Almost like getting a total-body workout with just one exercise.

As you perform the move, your shoulders, arms, and chest work to stabilize your upper body while your core stabilizes the rest of your body. As the prime mover, your quads get an incredible workout, too. And because it’s a cardio exercise, you’ll get heart health benefits and burn calories.

Mountain Climber
Execution Technique
  1. Start in the push-up position with your arms completely straight and directly beneath your shoulders.
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles..
  3. Squeeze your abs, lift one foot off the floor and bring your knee up towards your chest while keeping your body in as straight of a line as possible.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement with your opposite leg.
Tips
  • Don’t round your lower back.
  • Don’t lift your hips too high. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

25. Cross Body Mountain Climber

Crossbody mountain climbers is an explosive bodyweight exercise that engages multiple muscle groups at once helping to improve your balance, agility, coordination, strength, flexibility, and blood circulation almost like getting a total-body workout with just one exercise.

Cross Body Mountain Climber
Execution Technique
  1. Start in the push-up position with your arms completely straight and directly beneath your shoulders.
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles..
  3. Squeeze your abs, lift one foot off the floor and bring your left knee towards your right elbow while keeping your body in as straight of a line as possible.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement with your opposite leg.
Tips
  • Don’t round your lower back.
  • Don’t lift your hips too high.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

26. Stability Ball High Plank

Stability ball High Plank is great for your core, but it can also help you improve all-over flexibility, balance, and coordination. It even does your posture solid.

Stability Ball High Plank
Execution Technique
  1. Get into a straight body position from your head to your heels.
  2. Stack your shoulders over your wrists; firmly plant your palms on either side of the stability ball.
  3. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  4. Pause here for a second and then return to the starting position.
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

27. Stability Ball forearm Plank

Stability Ball Forearm Plank is a challenging and effective core body exercise that forces you to pull your abdominals in, tighten your glutes and squeeze your legs to hold your body in a straight line.

This is an advanced move that will challenge you far beyond crunches or ab curls. If you learn how to do Stability Ball Forearm Plank, you will learn to use the deep transverse abdominus.

Stability Ball forearm Plank
Execution Technique
  1. Get into a straight body position from your head to your heels.
  2. Place your forearms on the stability ball and feet on the floor; maintain a straight body position from your head to your heels.
  3. Stack your shoulders directly over your elbows, and press your forearms into the stability ball to support your shoulders.
  4. Maintain a tight core while squeezing through your quads and chest.
  5. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Focus on engaging your core,and avoid dropping your hips toward the floor. Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

28. Stability Ball forearm Side Plank

Stability ball forearm Side Plank exercises have become popular due to their multitude of benefits. They work the entire core, including the obliques, abdomen, lower back, gluteus, and thighs, and they also increase spinal stability, balance, and coordination.
These plank variations are more challenging than their stable counterparts, so introduce them only after you have a solid full plank. When you sit on the ball, the hips should be level or slightly higher than the knees.

Stability Ball forearm Side Plank
Execution Technique
  1. Place your elbow in the center of the stability ball and align your shoulder directly over your elbow.
  2. Press your forearm into the stability ball to support the shoulder joint.
  3. Stack your hips and feet on top of one another to create a straight line from your head to your heels, actively.
  4. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Focus on engaging your core,and avoid dropping your hips toward the floor. Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
  • Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.

29. Stability Ball Tuck

Stability Ball Tuck is also known as Stability-Ball Jackknife is a core stabilizing exercise that improves balance, strength, and flexibility throughout the hip and abdominal region. The stability ball tuck is one of those abdominal moves that looks like it’s fun to do.

Stability ball knee tucks are advanced ab exercises designed to target the major muscle groups of the core (abdominals and back), while also targeting the stabilizing muscles of the chest, shoulders, and hips.

Also, because the exercise requires you to hold a high plank position while using your legs to roll a stability ball to and from your torso, your triceps engage to help you maintain the proper position while your quadriceps engage to keep your body steady as the ball rolls.

Stability Ball Tuck
Execution Technique
  1. Stack your shoulders directly over your wrists; place the tops of your feet and shins on the stability ball.
  2. Maintain a straight body position from your head to your heels and a tight core
  3. Tuck your knees in toward your chest while rolling the ball forward.
  4. Hold the tucked position for a second, and then return to the starting position by extending your legs back.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Tips
  • Keep your neck neutral.
  • Do not allow your hips to sag throughout the movement.

30. Medicine ball High plank

Medicine balls provide another unstable surface for you to work on. Performing planks on the medicine ball is a fast track to a strong, stable shoulder and a tight core. This is a challenging, unstable surface, so a strong full plank is a must before progressing to the medicine ball.

Medicine ball High plank exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Stack your shoulders directly over your wrists. Place your hands on either side of the medicine ball and press into your palms.
  2. Maintain a straight body position from your head to your heels with feet hip distance apart.
  3. Maintain a tight core while squeezing through your quads and chest to support the core.
  4. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Keep Improper alignment of shoulders and wrists
  • Don’t round your lower back.

31. Medicine ball Side plank

Using a medicine ball for your press-ups challenges your body and adds a degree of instability to recruit more muscles.

Put both hands on the medicine ball and get into a solid plank position with the ball underneath your chest. Perform a press-up but send your elbows back and close to your sides.

Medicine ball Side plank exercise
Execution Technique
  1. Place your palm in the center of the medicine ball and align your shoulder directly over your palm.
  2. Press your palm firmly into the medicine ball to support your shoulder joint.
  3. Stack your hips and feet on top of one another to create a straight line from your head to your heels, and actively lift the side of your body up as high as possible.
  4. Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Tips
  • Focus on engaging your core,and avoid dropping your hips toward the floor.
  • Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise.
  • Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.

32. Abs wheel rollout

The wheel rollout exercise is one of the little advanced abs exercises. To build yourself up to it, you can start with the plank and graduate to the wheel rollout when ready.

You can also make the exercise easier by performing it up an inclined surface. Ab wheel rollout exercise is considered to be a great move to assist the development of aesthetic abdominal muscles. They’re also an excellent conditioning exercise for athletes. This ab wheel workout can be used at home or in gyms.

Abs roller exercises, improve your overall health and fitness in a variety of ways. Regular dedication to this form of exercise increases your stamina.

Abs wheel rollout
Execution Technique
  1. Kneel on the floor and grasp the ab wheel roller with your hands, your arms should be straight and your torso fairly upright in the start position.
  2. Allow the abs wheel to roll forward as far as possible with just your knees and toes touching the floor while you maintain your grip on this.
  3. The goal is to be as flat as possible in the finish position with your torso and upper legs parallel with the floor and hovering just a couple of inches above it.
  4. Then reverse the motion to pull the abs wheel back toward your knees until your body is upright again. Repeat for as many reps as possible.
Tips
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.
  • Move within a comfortable range of motion. You should not strain your lower back.
  • Do not allow your hips to sag at any point during the movement.

33.Barbell rollout

The barbell roll-out is one of the best abs exercises that utilize a barbell in the place of an ab roller. It is best performed with a barbell that has rotating collars and is considered more difficult than other ab roller variations.

Many lifters may not be able to perform a single rep at first, but once they can perform these for reps, they’ll be rewarded with a seriously strong core.

Barbell rollout
Execution Technique
  1. Kneel on the floor in front of a loaded barbell and grab the barbell with an overhand, shoulder-width group.
  2. Your arms should be straight and your torso fairly upright in the start position.
  3. Allow the bar to roll forward as far as possible with just your knees and toes touching the floor while you maintain your grip on the bar.
  4. The goal is to be as flat as possible in the finish position with your torso and upper legs parallel with the floor and hovering just a couple of inches above it.
  5. Then reverse the motion to pull the bar back toward your knees until your body is upright again. Repeat for as many reps as possible.
Tips
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.
  • Move within a comfortable range of motion. You should not strain your lower back.
  • Do not allow your hips to sag at any point during the movement.
Conclusion

For anyone, who is interested in building core muscles and gaining strength, these Plank exercises are highly recommended. It not only allows for targeted muscle development but also provides overall core development. It is easy to do and requires no more scientific details. If done consistently, the results will speak by themselves.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your Plank Workout!

STAY FIT, LIVE A HAPPY AND HEALTHY LIFE
Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge, before choosing to consume any product or perform any exercise.

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