Plank Exercises To Strengthen And Tone Your Core

The plank is an isometric core strength workout that involves controlling a position like a push-up for the increased possible time. It is the best workout for core strength. Regularly doing different plank variations for 15 minutes will enhance flexibility and posture, improve mood, and lower back pain. People who consistently plank stand

People who consistently plank stand tall amongst the tallest, look the best amongst the best dressed, and feel confident.

 

What Is A Plank?

Plank
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Plank is a bodyweight workout, which means you utilized bodyweight in place of other weights like barbells or dumbbells or barbells to increase strength. It is also called Kumbhakasana and it is a part of Surya namaskar or sun salutation. 

Plank Exercises to Strengthen and Tone your Core

Traditional Plank

Traditional Plank
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It is the most elementary form of plank and acts on the whole body. Remember that hands should be right under your shoulder, and your body should be level

Target – Core, shoulders, glute, and biceps.

How To Do?

  • Form a cat pose on a mat. Your arms should form a level line from your shoulder to the elbow.
  • Push body upward and support on feet balls and palms.
  • Keep back level and your tush level with your whole body in one line.
  • Avoid neck strain and keep abs engaged by belly button sucking.
  • Hold this plank for 30-seconds, then release and repeat.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

Hip Dips

This exercise is very effective for toning love handles, muffin tops, and whittling waist. It targets your abdominals, obliques, and even your lats.

Target – Core, external, internal obliques, shoulders, adductors, biceps, and glutes.

How To Do?

  • Form a side elbow plank position and balance your body.
  • Drop your lower hip to the floor and elevate it again.
  • Perform 10-dips for each side.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more time

 

Forearm Plank

Forearm Plank
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The forearm plank is also called yoga as the dolphin pose. It is a variation of plank that is done over forearms. This works precisely like the first exercise, but it also targets the shoulder and top back.

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

How To Do?

  • Take the plank position, Keep abs tight, shoulder, back straight, back, and level body.
  • Ensure your hands are under your shoulder.
  • Close your right fist, turning your right-side elbow, and rest your whole forearms above the floor. Do this using the left hand also. Now you are in a challenging and lower position.
  • Ensure elbows are under the shoulder and abs are engaged. Hold this posture for 15-30 seconds.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Side Elbow Plank

Side Elbow Plank
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It is a variation of the forearm plank. It is also performed as a beginner version of the side plank. Though this variation keeps lightly more stress on the shoulder, it is simpler to balance.

Target – Core, adductor, glute, external, biceps, and internal obliques.

How To Do?

  • Lie down over the right side, and hold the upper body up by keeping forearms and elbows on the floor perpendicular to upper arms by keeping palm flat over the floor. Bent both knees a little and put my left foot on the right side. Put your right sidearm on the right side of your waist.
  • Gently and steadily raise your buttocks toward the roof and hold this position for 30 seconds. Ensure to take a breath in and breath out.
  • Repeat for your other side.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Star Forearm Plank

Star Forearm Plank
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It is an excellent modification of the Side elbow plank. It challenges your strength, flexibility, and balance.

Target – Core, adductor, external, glute, and biceps, internal obliques.

How To Do?

  • Lie up your right side, and keep your upper body by putting your forearm and elbow on the floor perpendicular to your upper arms using palms level on the floor. Put your legs straight, with the left foot over the top of the right.
  • Raise hips and then lift left leg to the sky.
  • Elevate your leg as long as possible and try holding the big toe with the raised arm.
  • If you are not flexible enough to hold the toe in hand, it is fine, only lift it as much as possible and hold the position.
  • Repeat for the other side also.
  • Rest – 25 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

Hip Twists

These twists are extraordinary compared to other board practices for conditioning your abdomen and reinforcing your center.

Target – Core, adductor, glute, and biceps

How To Do?

  • Begin in the forearm plank pose.
  • Turn your hips and reach each hip on the floor in turns. The movement will be something like twist-touch your right hip than your left hip.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Side Arm Plank

Star Side Arm Plank
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It is a modification of the traditional plank exercise. It is an effective workout for the upper back position and focuses on upper back fat. This is the best move for toning the obliques.

Target– Core, adductor, glute, obliques, and biceps.

How To Do?

  • Spot your right palm level on the mat, with the fingers, pointed straight ahead. Bent your left knee and spot your left foot before your right leg, close to your stomach, with the left femur and shin at around 30 degrees with one another.
  • Raise hips to the ceiling, open left hand, and balance body on a complete stretch right hand and the outer part of the right foot. Raise the left foot and keep it on top of the right foot.
  • Hold this move for 15-20 seconds and then do it on the other side.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

Star Side Arm Plank

Star Side Arm Plank 1
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This plank is a modification of the sidearm plank workout. It is a very advanced move, which needs more balance. It is also one of the good strengthening workouts in yoga.

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

How To Do?

  • Keep right palm level on the mat, using fingers pointed straight ahead. Bent your left knee and keep your left foot in front of the right leg, near the belly, with the left shin and femur at about 30-degrees with each other.
  • Raise hips toward the ceiling, open left hand, balance body completely stretched right hand and outer part of your right foot. Now, elevate your foot and keep it on top of the right one.
  • Elevate left leg to make the body is in a completely open pose now as if you are going to provide someone a big hug.
  • Hold this position for 15-seconds, relax, and repeat on the other side.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Rolling Plank

Rolling Plank
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This plank workout helps to increase cardio and strength of the core, hips, and arms. This move can be performed on the arms as well as forearms.

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

How To Do?

  • Begin in the forearm plank pose and ensure to manage right form.
  • Raise your right arm and move your body on the left side into a side elbow plank.
  • The difference here is that you need not pile your feet on each other.
  • Just move and come to the forearm pose again, and then move to the other side.
  • Without losing balance, turn from side to side. The movement will be like left to mid to right and backward to mid.
  • Perform 20-rolls to do one set.
  • Rest – 20 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Swiss Ball Plank

Swiss Ball Plank
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It is a lifted plank, which requires a swiss ball. It intensifies the work on your core balance.

Target – Core, biceps, and glute

How To Do?

  • Grip your fists and keep them on a swiss ball shoulder-width apart.
  • Roll back your shoulders and balance your body over your forearms, stretch your legs back and help your lower body over your bent toes.
  • Put your thighs in line using hips and core engaged. Hold this pose for 15-seconds or till you feel the burn in your core.
  • Rest – 15 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

Plank Up-Downs

Plank Up and Down
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It is a difficult but fun plank exercise that helps to build stamina and strength.

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

How To Do?

  • Form a standard plank position.
  • Flex your right elbow and set your forearm down. Then, flex the left elbow and keep the left forearm down also. Now, you are in a forearm plank.
  • Keep your arm straight, and then your right arm. Go back to the standard plank pose.
  • The move is like plank to forearm plank and then forearm plank to plank.
  • Perform 10-reps to do one 1-set.
  • Rest – 25 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Plank with Oblique Crunch

Plank with Oblique Crunch
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Plank exercise with oblique crunch is an intense movement for abdominals and obliques. You can perform it on a mat or using a Bosu ball.

Target – Core, obliques, glute, shoulders, biceps, lower back

How To Do?

  • Form a standard plank position and tighten abs.
  • Flex your left knee, move it to the side and reach your elbow with it. Press your left obliques.
  • Straighten your leg backward and do it again with the other leg.
  • Repeat this 15 times on the side to complete one set.
  • Rest – 25 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Tummy Tucks

Tummy tucks are best for cardio and target abdominal muscles.

Target – Core, hamstrings, glute, quads, biceps, and shoulders.

How To Do?

  • Form a plank position with the legs completely stretched your back and core engaged.
  • Raise your left leg, bend your left knee, tuck it in toward your chest and get the leg back toward the starting position.
  • Do again with the right led.
  • Repeat 20-times to do one set.
  • Rest – 15 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

Plank Row

Plank Row
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This plank exercise needs a set of dumbbells and is like bent-over rowing. It works on the following muscles.

Target – Core, glute, biceps, and shoulders.

How To Do?

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells and form a plank position.
  • Flex elbow and row that dumbbell to the chest and drop it.
  • Repeat for the other side and perform 10-reps for both arms.
  • Rest – 15 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Plank with Legs Over Exercise Ball

Plank with Legs Over Exercise Ball
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While doing this variation, your legs rest over the workout ball. This moves lower the pressure on the core and boost the workout.

 Target – Core, glute, biceps, and shoulders. 

How To Do?

  • Keep a gym ball back you.
  • Get into an arm plank position. Keep legs up over the gym ball, with the toes facing downward.
  • Hold this position for 10-25 seconds.
  • Rest – 15 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Plank Pikes

Plank Pikes
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It is the best cardio move for lower back and lower belly fat.

Target – Core, shoulders, glutes, lats, calves, quads, hamstrings, triceps, and biceps.

How To Do?

  • Form a plank position.
  • Raise heels and push your hips to the ceiling. Drive your lower body in so that you create a V pose.
  • Avoid putting strain on your neck. Keep it comfortable and easy.
  • Hold this position for 3-seconds and then go to the plank position.
  • Repeat 10-times to do one set.
  • Rest – 15 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Reverse Plank

Reverse Plank
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The reverse plank is very challenging, but you can follow the steps to perform it correctly.

Target – Core, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, lats, quads, biceps, and triceps.

How To Do?

  • Sit on the floor using your legs in the front side of you and keep your hands back of you at hip-width apart.
  • Using arms to support weight, elevate butt off the floor till your body is in a straight line from the shoulder to the feet. It is the reverse plank.
  • Hold this pose for 10-20 seconds before dropping your body back toward the floor.
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Repeat – 3 more times

 

Reverse Plank With Leg Lift

Reverse Plank With Leg Lift
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The reverse plank using a leg list increases the work your core does to balance into the reverse plank position.

Target – Core, shoulders, glutes, lats, quads, hamstrings, triceps, and biceps.

How To Do?

  • Sit over the floor and raise yourself in the reverse plank position, but put your knees bent so that your shin and femur are at right angles with each other.
  • Gently raise one leg upward and hold. Ensure to lift leg straight.
  • Hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Plank with Donkey Kicks

Plank with Donkey Kicks
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It is another challenging but effective variation of plank workout.

Target – glutes, lats, core, shoulders, quads, triceps, biceps, hamstrings.

How To Do?

  • Lower down your knees and hands using hands in line with your shoulder. If you are a beginner, stay on your knees. But if you are at an intermediate or advanced level, lift yourself into a plank.
  • Raise one leg and move it toward the sky by flexing knees. It is your position.
  • Move that leg up and back, up and again back. Try small, some moves but squeeze the butt well using each move.
  • Perform 12-15 moves and then begin kicking a leg out.
  • Perform this with the other leg also.
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

 

Halfway Plank

Halfway Plank
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It is an isometric move where you stand firm on a move in its midway position.

Target – biceps, core, shoulders, glutes, lats, and triceps.

How To Do

  • Form a plank position.
  • Flex elbows and drop yourself into a triceps push-up pose.
  • Hold it for 10 seconds and then push yourself upward in the plank.
  • Rest – 15 seconds
  • Repeat – 2 more times

Benefits of Plank

Performing plank workouts helps to benefit in different ways. It improves mood and flat tummy. Regularly doing plank exercises can help you in various ways. From assisting you to get a flat belly to enhancing your mood, this posture helps more than just a static exercise. Here is the list of benefits of doing planks every day.

Best Core Exercises

Best Core
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Plank is the best exercise for core strength and six-packs. The only plank cannot help, but adding plank in daily routine helps to benefit in different benefits.

Planks work well when combined with strength training and cardio exercise.

It works on necessary muscle groups:

The transversus abdominis

It is a core muscle set that ultimately lays the foundation that helps to increase abs. These muscles must be trained first to improve and produce a rectus abdomen, which is the front part that most people asking for 6-packs are seeing when they are seeing in the mirror.

The rectus Abdominus benefits greatly enhance sports play and your strength to jump high.

Your oblique muscles are best for your ability to flex sideways and turn your waist and are often under looked while exercising routines.

Your glutes are helpful to support for back and provide the desired shape of the back.

Your core is essential for supporting spine alignment and controlling the strength of the back. Core strength support to prevent strain injuries.

Improves Posture

Improves Posture
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The plank strengthens the lower back and core muscles and enhances posture.

Good posture prevents injuries by the distribution of improper weight, which can impact everything from major workout routines to small moves like bending over. Proper posture helps to develop self-assurance and confidence, which attract everyone to appeal to your opposite gender.

Since plank work on the core, that means they work the complete body, from your shoulder girdle to pelvic girdle also your legs. The plank helps to increase spine, rhomboids, abdominal muscles, and trapezius strength, which naturally result in a strong position as they grow stronger.

Growing posture can help to prevent different ailments.

Reduces Belly Fat

Reduces Belly Fat
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Belly fat is the certain gift of poor lifestyle habits. If you wish to lose those excess inches, you need to do a plank. By growing and strengthening core muscles, you will be able to sculpt abs.

Increases Flexibility

A plank workout is best for increasing adaptability. You can try different varieties of plank to prevent belly fat.

Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain
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If you are experiencing back pain, doing plank exercise can help. Since this workout target the back muscles and core, increase strength and lowers back pain.

Uplifts Mood

Doing plank exercise also improves mood and induces good feeling hormones. It is the best way to develop confidence and build a positive attitude.

Builds Stamina

Holding plank for some time and then slowly raising the time will help to create stamina. And you will be able to do another workout better.

 

How to Grow Plank Time Gradually?

Enhancing plank times is a challenge, and you should not hesitate from it. Here is the right way to raise plank time.

Warm-up before beginning your workout routine.

Perform a mix of strength and cardio training to raise stamina and muscle power.

Utilize the timer feature with your phone to count.

Talk to yourself from every extra second that you perform.

Do not rush and practice daily.

 

Common Plank Guidelines To Follow

Keep your shoulder bone pulled down.

Keep buttocks, legs, and hips level.

Engage your glutes and core.

Avoid straining your neck and manage a neutral pose, look down at the floor or upward at the ceiling.

Refrain from moving your lowering back as you like.

Though the plank is the best workout, it may not suitable for some people.

 

Who Should Not Do Plank Exercise?

If you experiencing pelvic pain, childbirth, herniated disc, and weak bone or had surgery.

 

Side Effects of Planks

The myth is that workout is good but not for everyone. If you do it in the wrong way, they can hurt you, while also causing internal injury and dislocation permanently. If a plank is not done correctly, it can cause injury to the body.

 

Why Doing Planks Can Cause Breathing Problems?

Resting over the floor horizontally with only elbows or palms and toes for balance may cause strain in muscles and tighten, and leads to diminution for oxygen level. The muscle tissues contraction is thin and requires oxygen to function, it might feel weak and could also lead to breakage.

Hence, a lot of physicians suggest people not to do the plank the way it is normally done but rather resting their body on hands and knees as a support and then raise one leg and breathing till your leg is straight. This way, you are not allowed to balance out the weight equally but also make sure that oxygen reaches the thin tissues of muscles without it blocking or contracting it.

Plank can lead to several breathing problems causing asthma, panic attacks, anxiety, and insomnia as oxygen in the blood when transferred to the other body functions and grasp energy. Holding your stomach in and breathing is bad for your respiratory system. Hence, breathing is important while exercising.

 

How Doing Planks Can Put Pressure on Your Joints?

Whenever you do a plank, the intercostal muscles in the ribs and the pectoral muscles of the chest become tense. It put pressure on the costochondral joint, which is the cartilage part of the joint’s ribs to the breastbone.

When you raise off the ground when doing planks, pressure is applied used on the costochondral joints. When you raise your body over the floor, great pressure is kept on the shoulder and rib joints. Those experiencing loose joint or ligaments instability may not get this workout comfortable as it could cause inflammation.

If you experience a bad back, doing planks can be deadly. Planks can compress the body in a similar way press up and impact the spine.

Take Physician Advice

Now, you know everything about planks. No more stopping, decide a goal, write it down, and begin planking. You will see results in 2-weeks if you practice plank in the right way.

 

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