Who ever thought an exercise such as the plank can be done in so many different ways. I mean it was easy for me to come up with 15 different ways to plank, I could have easily done 20, or 25 – but I thought too many could be an overload of information for beginners so I stuck to it at 15.
Today, I want to show you my favourite 15 different ways to plank. These might not necessarily be hard or easy for you but for me they definitely work some magic. I use these types of plank exercises in many of my workouts and in many different ways.
Planks are one of those types of exercises that come easy and come hard. For me, side planks are a B! I love doing them though because they make my core really feel like it’s been worked really well. I always feel a little muscle stiffness when I’m done so I know I did tear some fibers I have friends that can literally do 100 side plank lifts and not feel a thing!
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t do as many reps as someone else. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and planks are sure to bring them out. Many people think they have really good upper body strength but then throw them into a 8 Minute Planking Tabata and they can barely make it through.
You have to work your way up through time. Challenge yourself in different ways to incorporate planks into your workouts. If you’re doing a leg workout, try plank knee tucks, or doing abs – toss in side plank lifts, if you’re working arms or shoulders, high to low planks are excellent too! Or, do all of these planks as one workout!
But if you know me really well, you know what’s coming next!
Huh-Huh – A challenge!!!
A Plank Challenge!
All the deets are at the end of this post!
Let’s get into the planks first.
Here are my favourite 15 Different Ways to Plank!
HIGH PLANK: Begin lying supine on the floor. Place your palms on the ground, push yourself up off the ground with straight arms and a flat back. Keep your toes on the ground and hold this position. Keep a tight core and your hips in line with your body.
HIGH PLANK WITH LEG LIFT: Begin in the high plank position. Squeeze your glute and lift one leg up towards the ceiling – using your glutes to make the movement. Pause and release. Complete again on opposite leg and alternate reps.
HIGH PLANK WITH KNEE TUCK: Begin in the high plank position, with palms on the ground. Keep your back straight, bend one knee bringing it into your chest and releasing back into starting position. Switch legs and complete the same on the other leg. Be sure to not drop your hips and keep your back straight the entire time. Really squeeze your abdominals and keep them tight!
REVERSE PLANK: Begin sitting on the floor, extend your legs directly in front of you and lean back onto your forearms. Lift your hips up so your body is in one straight line. Hold this position and keep your abs tight – it’s easy to let your lower abs go on this one, so focus!
REVERSE LEG LIFT: Begin in the reverse plank position and lift one leg at a time up to the ceiling – remembering to keep your abs tight. Only lift your leg as high as your abs will allow – over time you will become more flexible.
HIGH TO LOW PLANK: Begin in the high plank position. Bend one elbow, bringing your forearm to the ground & bend your opposite elbow so both forearms are evenly on the ground, pause, then extend the first elbow you bent & then extend the opposite. Each time you “go down” begin with a different elbow to keep the reps the same on each arm.
*See this exercise in action*
SUPERMAN: From the high plank position, lift your right arm up & point it directly in front of you as you lift your left leg up off the ground to align with your body. Release & complete on opposite side.
PLANK JACKS: Begin in a high plank position with your feet close together. Jump off of your feet, while landing in a wide stance plank. Then jump again to return back to the starting position. Repeat.
ELBOW PLANK: Lay flat on your stomach on the floor. Place your palms beside each shoulder and raise your upper body up off the floor. Bend your elbows using your forearms to support your body while keeping your back and legs straight. Hold this position.
WALKING PLANK: Begin in the high plank position with your palms under your shoulders. Move your left hand out as far as you can reach, following with your left foot and bring your right and left foot over to the left. Complete this again to move one more time. Continue “walking” until you are ready to move to the opposite side. Keep your abs super tight, don’t forget!
T PLANK: Begin in the high plank position, lift your left arm up off the ground, reaching as far as your can while twisting your torso and pointing your fingers to the sky. Keep your toes on the ground, only allowing your core to twist with your arm. Lower left arm back to starting position. Complete the next rep on your opposite arm & continue alternating.
SIDE PLANK LIFT: Begin on the floor on your side. Use your arm closest to the ground to hold your body up, resting on your forearm. Bend your opposite arm and place your hand behind your ear. Keep a tight core and one foot in front of the other. (I usually like bottom leg in front) Lift your hips off the ground, raising them as high as you can to the ceiling. Pull that belly inward! Pause and release.
OBLIQUE CRUNCH: Begin in the side plank position with your forearm on the ground. Have your opposite hand behind your head. Twist your torso down to the ground and reach your elbow above your head towards the ground. Really squeeze your obliques.
SIDE PLANK KNEE LIFT: Begin in the side plank position, with palms on the ground holding your hips high in line with your body. Bend your leg (which is higher) into your stomach, squeezing your abs as you do so.
SIDE PLANK LEG LIFT: Begin in the same position, lifting your leg straight up into the air as high as you can while keeping your abs tight.
Oh those side plank leg lifts are brutal. I have a workout posted here for an exercise very similar! Try it, you’ll love!
Ok, so here’s your plank challenge!
Complete each plank for a total of 30 seconds. (if it is an exercise using different sides, complete 30 seconds on each side; such as the side plank left; 30 seconds right side, 30 seconds left side)
Take a 4 minute break and complete all planks again for another 30 seconds each.
Continue this every day for 5 days. After 5 days, complete each plank for 45 seconds. Complete 45 seconds for 5 full days, then move into completing each plank for 60 seconds for 5 days.
Voila! 15 days later you’re doing 15 different types of plank all for one minute each!
Super Perfect for a Vacation or Hotel Room Workout!!!