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Best Plank Exercises to improve your core and back strength

Plank exercises are extremely good for strengthening your core. It is proven that doing plank alone can reap many health benefits. 

Plank might look simple but it requires more strength as it works your entire body. Are you interested in plank?

Keep scrolling to learn more about it.

What is Plank Exercise?

Plank is an isometric exercise that works your total body muscles, including the upper body, lower body, and core muscles. This exercise is a good muscular endurance workout.

“You can do planks for a maximum of two minutes at a stretch and longer than that you won’t get much benefit,” says Eric L’Italien, a physical therapist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center.

The plank exercise world record is more than four hours and you don’t have to beat yourself up doing a plank for long hours. Experts suggest 10 to 30 seconds of a plank is more than enough.

You can do many sets of planks at subsequent intervals in a day. It can be added to your daily activity. Doing planks daily keeps you active throughout the day as it involves working out your entire body muscles.

Plank Exercises for core

Plank exercise benefits mostly your core muscles including abdominal, lower back, pelvic and hip muscles. Having a strong core protects you from back pain and provides great balance and stability.

There are various types of plank exercises that helps you to strengthen your core. A list of twelve plank exercises and the guide on how to do plank exercise was explained with simple steps. 

Type of Plank Exercises

If you are looking for a little more challenge than the normal plank exercise, then check out the twelve workouts below.

Note: Before starting your plank, grab a yoga mat or do the plank on a carpeted floor to prevent any distress in your elbows.

1. Forearm Plank

Forearm Plank Exercise
  • Lie with your face down on the ground, your elbows directly underneath your shoulders, and your palms resting on the floor.
  • Raise up from the floor onto elbows and toes tightening your abs alongside. Spread the weight of your body evenly between your elbows and toes.
  • Place your palms on the floor and place out your fingers to gain stability.
  • Keep in mind to maintain a straight posture from your shoulders to your heels.
  • Hold in that position for a fixed amount of time.

2. Side Plank

Side Plank exercise
  • Lie on either your left or right side on the floor, keeping your legs straight one above the other.
  • Place your elbow directly under your shoulder, with your forearms resting against the floor.
  • Lift your hips from the floor balancing your weight on your elbows and your foot. You must keep your body in a straight line.
  • Hold the posture for the set time. Change the side and repeat on the other side.

3. Reach Plank Exercise

Reach Plank Exercise
  • Position yourself in the forearm plank and reach out your right hand forward so that the hand is parallel to the ground underneath.
  • Pull back your right hand back to the floor.
  • Reach out your left hand forward and pull it back to the floor.
  • Alternate between your right and left hand a set number of times.
  • Regulate your breath during the workout and match it with your movement.

4. Plank Wiper

Plank Wiper exercise
  • Position yourself in the forearm plank.
  • Stretch and move your right leg out to the side and inhale while moving your leg out.
  • Move your right leg back together and exhale while moving your leg in.
  • Repeat the same with your left leg and keep alternating sides for as long as you want.
  • Regulate your breath during the entire workout and align it with your body movement.

5. Plank Jacks

Plank Jacks exercise
  • Start with a straight plank by placing your arm extended from the floor, palms facing the floor, and your arms directly under your shoulder. Maintain a straight-line posture from your head to toe and keep your feet together.
  • Jump with your both legs to the side staying in plank position and quickly jump back your feet together maintaining a smooth pace.
  • Keep repeating the steps, jumping in and out for the desired time.

6. Side Plank Leg Raise

Side Plank Leg Raise exercise
  • Start with a side plank with your right elbow resting on the ground and your left hand resting on your hip.
  • Raise your left leg slightly above your hips and then bring them back down. Keep repeating it for some 10 – 15 times and change sides.
  • Regulate your breath during the entire workout and align it with your body movement.

7. Plank Up

Plank Up exercise
  • Start with a straight plank (Push up position) positioning your hands directly under your shoulder.
  • Slowly lower your elbow to the ground (one hand at a time) so that you are in a side plank position.
  • Then again lift your elbows up (one hand at a time) to a straight plank position.
  • Keep repeating the steps for the desired number of reps.

8. Sliding Plank Crunch

Sliding Plank Crunch exercise
  • Get into a straight plank position, placing a blanket, towel, or disks. Pull both your legs together towards your chest staying in plank position.
  • Your back from the hip to the shoulders should be parallel to the ceiling.
  • Slide your legs back to the plank position and control your abs during the process.
  • Repeat the steps several times.

9. Plank Crunch

Plank Crunch exercise
  • Get into a straight plank position with your hands directly under your shoulder. Tight your core while keeping your body in a straight line.
  • Bend the right knee and pull it up towards your chest and then return back to the plank position.
  • Repeat it with your left leg.
  • Alternate your legs and do as many reps as you wish to do.

10. Plank Switch

Plank Switch exercise
  • Get down on the mat in a straight plank position with your hands right under your shoulders.
  • Keep your legs a little wider, so that it will be easier when you roll on your feet to the sides when doing the plank.
  • Now roll your feet onto your left side, lifting your hand up towards the side. Hold in that position for a few seconds and return back to the straight plank again.
  • Repeat the steps on your right side.
  • Alternate and repeat the steps on both sides.

11. Plank Push-Up

Plank Push-Up exercise
  • Get into the forearm plank position with your elbows right underneath your shoulders.
  • Now lift your body up to a straight plank, squeezing your core muscles, and aligning the body in a straight line.
  • Now give a push-up and again go back into a forearm plank.
  • Repeat the steps and do as many reps as you want.

12. Plank Pistons

Plank Pistons exercise
  • Get down to a forearm plank position. Maintain your body in a straight line.
  • Reach your right hand forward and pull it back again to the same position with your elbow right under your shoulder.
  • Now repeat the same step with your left hand and keep doing it alternatively between both hands.

Plank Exercises benefits

Planks have a multitude of benefits like doing plank exercise for weight loss, strength building and many more. Want to know about them?

Take a quick peek below to know the various health benefits of doing a plank regularly.

Plank Exercises Build Core Strength

Planks are extremely good for improving your core strength and it is highly recommended by many experts. Planks work on your abs and help shape them. A list of twelve core plank exercises are given. Follow them to strengthen your core.

Plank Exercise Help You Develop a Healthy Posture

Plank exercises for losing belly fat is the most searched topic on the internet today. Many health care experts recommend doing plank daily as you can get more benefits out of it. Planks work on your neck, abdomen, thighs, legs, back and spine altogether.

They work on the muscles and help in toning thus maintaining a healthy posture.

Plank Exercises Improve Balance and Coordination

Want can you do to improve your balance and coordination?

You can most certainly practice planks to improve your balance and coordination. While doing plank you need to balance and coordinate your overall body muscles to stay in that position for the time you wanted. When you do plank daily, you develop endurance in your muscles with time.

Plank Exercises Help to Improve Flexibility

Do you plan to do more tough exercises? Planks can get your body flexible and prepare you for that. They work on your joints, glutes, and hard muscles making them flexible.

Some of the best benefits of plank exercise for female is improving flexibility. It helps them to bend easily and prevent back pain as they strengthen the core.

Plank Exercises Help to Boost Your Metabolism

You might be feeling sucked out of energy after your work all day. You might be feeling less appetite. Planks helps you boost your overall metabolism. It keeps your body active for hours at the same time improving your hunger and sleep.

Plank Exercises Help to Improve Your Overall Mental Health

Planks help to lift your mood up as they release endorphins. These hormones make you feel better from inside. Planks help to alleviate your stress and anxiety. It is also said to help to cope with depression.

The Bottom Line

Planks are great workouts to include in your everyday schedule. If you are bored doing simple plank, there are many variations that you can follow. It will just take a few minutes to do them.

Beginner plank exercises include straight plank and forearm plank, and you can do them easily as a beginner. You can level up to other exercises with time.

Note: If you have any health issue, then consult your doctor before you start to do plank.


What is plank exercise good for?

Plank exercises are good for strengthening your core, back, glutens, joints and thighs.

How many planks should i do a day?

You can do as much as you want in a day. But, do it in several intervals.

Do planks flatten tummy?

Yes, planks work on your muscles and helps to flatten your tummy.

How long should you hold a plank for?

Experts say that doing planks for two minutes is more than enough for a day. You can hold plank for 30 – 60 seconds in a day.

Are planks good for your back?

Planks are really good for your back and they prevent back pain.

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Ashish Matoliya
Ashish Matoliyahttp://ashishealth.com
Ashish brings a unique blend of expertise, empathy, and practical guidance to his writing. His articles are not just informative but also designed to inspire and motivate. Whether you're looking for workout tips, strategies for managing mental health, or seeking to improve your overall well-being, Ashish's content is your roadmap to a healthier and happier life.


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