Plank exercises are bodyweight exercises that help you strengthen your abs, and core and build stability throughout your body. It is one of the best for reducing the belly fat around your abdomen area.
This exercise strengthens the body muscles, maintains our posture, and supports our spine. Some types of planks also help increase your endurance.
Like other workouts, planks exercise also has certain techniques and variations. However, to get you started, here are 10 easy and advanced types of plank exercise positions you can do at home.
Table of Contents
1. Forearm Plank
The forearm plank is a static core exercise similar to holding the top of a push-up, with both the elbows and hands making contact with the floor.
The pose engages multiple muscle groups at once, simultaneously building core, back, leg, and arm strength.
How to do Forearm Plank?
Extend your legs behind you with toes tucked under to press into the plank and bend your elbows to 90 degrees.
Distribute the weight in your hands evenly spreading your fingers apart, creating a stable base.
Make sure your body is in a straight line, keeping your abdominal muscles tight for better performance.
Hold the position until failure and also set a timer that gives you a lit bit of an idea about your strength.
2. Side Plank
This variation on the typical plank exercise works the two layers of muscle along the sides of your core, known as obliques. This is the best workout for your burning love handles that make your posture more attractive.
How to do Side Plank?
Lie on the right side with your legs straight and feet stacked. Place your right hand on the floor under your right shoulder with your forearm pointing away from you and your hand balled into a fist.
Engage your right obliques and lift your hips toward the roof. Your body should be straight from your ankles to your head.
Hold this position for the duration of the exercise. Depending on your fitness level, aim for between 15 to 60 seconds. Then switch the body position and repeat the same procedure.
3. Dolphin Plank
Dolphin Plank builds strength through resistance to your body’s weight, which helps to increase bone density. This pose strengthens the arms, legs, and core muscles, including the abdomen, chest, and lower back.
How to do Dolphin Plank?
Set your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. On exhale, tuck your toes under your feet and raise your knees up from the floor.
Focusing on lifting up with your pelvis and hips, lengthening your back and legs.
Hold the dolphin plank pose for up to a minute, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling from the mouth.
To move into the dolphin pose slowly comes back your feet backward, keeping your palm and forearms firm on the floor.
Make sure your shoulder are stacked over your elbows as this helps prevent injury.
4. Side Plank Crunch
Side plank crunches work your whole body by combining all the core action and side obliques. It also impacts your shoulders and hips. This is the fastest method to burn your love handles (side belly fat) and build obliques.
How to do Side Plank Crunch?
Start with on your right side with a bent arm through the elbow, with hips, and right shoulder stacked directly over the right elbow.
Make a side plank position. Now bend your both leg and arm on the left side to make a crunch like your both left elbow and left knee come closer simultaneously.
Slowly return to starting position and repeat it. Then after completing 16-12 reps, switch the side.
5. Plank Knee Tap
A Plank Knee Tap is a bodyweight exercise that primarily strengthens the chest and abdominal muscles. The simple taping of the knees helps to increase resistance to a traditional plank, making it an excellent exercise for the core.
How to do a Plank Knee Tap?
Make a position of forearm plank (by bending your elbows or forming a straight posture of the body on the weights of your feet and elbows).
Tilt the pelvis forward slightly, keep hips steady, and bend both knees toward the floor. Pause for a beat, then straighten legs again, pressing through heels. Repeat until 10-12 reps.
6. CaterPillar Plank
Caterpillar plank is a little more dynamic exercise that builds your lower abs and obliques muscle. That is the best and most effective way to target your core.
How to do CaterPillar Plank?
Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend forward at the waist and place your hands on the floor. Form a straight line from shoulder to heels. Keeping your hips in the same position as your shoulders, bend your left knee towards your chest.
Pause, then step it back to plank. Repeat it on the right side of your knee as the same as the procedure. Go for 12-14 reps on each leg.
7. One-Legged Plank
This move accelerates the heart rate, and tone of your arms, and legs, and is a metabolism booster too. This exercise also builds your core strength and doing the one-legged plank, reduces your next level of fat.
How to do One-legged Plank?
Get into a plank position on your mat. Bend the elbows and pitch the hands forward and engage your abs. Keep the whole body in a straight line from heels to head. Inhale and lift your right leg up and hold for one breath. Exhale and lower the leg. Raise your hips and return to starting position. Switch another leg and repeat the same as did.
8. Side Plank with Twist
Side Plank with a twist requires some extra rotation from your upper body that helps to develop the posture of your body, core, abs, and also oblique muscles.
How to do Side Plank with Twist?
Start in a side plank on your right forearm, with shoulders, hips, and feet stacked. Your shoulder is directly over the elbow. Press through your right forearm to lift your hips. Extend left arm toward the sky. Scoop your left arm underneath your body, rotating just your shoulders toward the floor. Extend the left arm back up, re-stacking shoulders, and repeat. Go for 30 seconds or 8-10 reps, and then switch sides.
9. Plank Shoulder Taps
Plank Shoulder Tap strengthens your core, arms, glutes, and shoulders muscle. This exercise improves your posture, stability, and flexibility and also helps to reduce your lower back pain.
How to do Plank Shoulder Taps?
Start in a push-up position, with your hands under your shoulder, and plant your feet hip-width apart. Now touch your right shoulder with your left hand and return to the plank position. Then do similar to the left shoulder with the right hand and do continue alternating sides until your desired reps are completed.
10. Plank jack
Plank jacks get your heart pumping during your strength routine.
- Start in a forearm plank or high plank.
- Jump both feet outward, wider than hip distance apart.
- Immediately hop them back into the original plank position.
- Aim to complete 2–3 sets of 30 seconds, or as long as you can maintain proper form.
Pro tip: Throughout the exercise, be careful not to raise or lower your hips out of the straight-line position.
Is it safe to perform all types of plank exercises?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on your level of fitness and your overall health. Some of the plank exercises are more advanced, so it’s important to judge whether or not they are right for you before you start. If you perform the exercises with poor form, you could end up injuring yourself. If you have any concerns, it’s always best to ask a fitness expert. Remember to consume enough protein and stay hydrated throughout your workout. You may also want to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
What are the benefits of plank exercises?
Plank exercises have several benefits, including:
- Strengthening core muscles: Planks target the muscles in the abdomen, back, and hips, helping to build a strong and stable core.
- Improving posture: A strong core can help improve posture, reducing the risk of back pain and injury.
- Enhancing balance and stability: Planks can also help improve balance and stability in the body, which can be beneficial for activities such as sports and weightlifting.
- Burning calories: Planks are a form of isometric exercise, which can be a great way to burn calories and lose weight.
- Reducing stress on joints: Planks are a low-impact exercise, which means they put less stress on the joints than exercises like running or jumping.
- Improving overall physical fitness.