18 Plank Variations To Work Your Core
The plank is a classic core move for a reason: It gives you a tough ab workout, with no back-breaking crunches required.
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However, holding the same old plank over and over again can get boring — so why not challenge yourself? Here are 18 different plank variations you can incorporate into your ab routine.
1. Knee Planks
This one’s for plank newbies. Make the plank a little easier try resting your knees on the floor. This helps to build up to actual planking. Keep your belly button tucked in and keep your core tight and your back straight to do this variation of planking.
2. Side Plank
Start in your standard plank position, then let your legs and heels touch. Lean to your left and balance on one hand. If this seems familiar, it should be. This is a common move in yoga and works the sides of your core.
3. Side Plank With Leg Lift
While in a side plank, lift your top leg as high as you can without bending at the waist. You can do this on your forearm first then extend once you feel more confident in your strength and stability.
4. Side Plank Crunches
Also in a side plank, push into the floor with your bottom foot then lift up your top leg. Bend your knee and touch it to your top elbow. Don’t lean forward or backward as you do this move. Repeat on the other side.
5. Reverse Plank
This is a little more challenging. Sit with your legs straight in front of you and your arms at your sides. Place your hands on the floor next to your hips with your fingers pointing towards your feet. Lift your hips off the ground as high as you can, and try to create a straight line from your chin to your toes. Go slowly, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed the first few times.
6. Reverse Plank Leg Raise
While in reverse plank, lift one leg as high as you can but don’t bend at the waist. Repeat on the other leg. Take it slow, and feel the burn.
7. Rocking Plank
Do a basic plank, and rock forward and backward on your toes. The aim is to move your body far enough back that your heels extend and then far enough forward that your shoulders move past your hands.
8. Chaturanga Plank
This yoga move is a mix of a plank and a push-up. Going from the basic plank position, lower yourself until your body is in line with your arms, then push and raise yourself to where your shoulders are directly above your hands.
9. Single-Arm Plank
Start in basic plank. Then slowly lift your right arm off the ground, extending it. Switch arms. Keep your back flat and resist the urge to tilt.
10. Single-Leg Plank
Go into basic plank position, then lift one leg up behind you and hold for ten seconds. Switch legs. Remember to keep your back flat!
11. Plank Hip Dips
In the basic position, slowly lower both of your hips to the right as far as it’s comfortable for you without touching the floor. Lift back up and repeat on the other side.
12. Walking Plank
Starting in plank, push yourself up so your arms are fully extended. Without moving your feet, walk your hands to the right, then to the left. Try to walk back and forth 3 to 4 times.
13. Two-Point Plank
Start in plank position, then squeeze your abs and glutes. Extend your left arm out and your right foot off the floor. Hold, then switch to the opposite arm and leg.
14. Plank Jacks
Start in plank position, tighten your core, then quickly hop your feet apart as far as you can. Then hop them back together. Your hands should stay firmly on the ground.
15. Wall Plank
Start on your hands and knees in front of a wall, facing away from it. Place your right foot on the wall first, then your left. Balancing on your hands, keep your body straight and hold for up to a minute.
16. Up-And-Down Plank
Starting in basic position, straighten both arms and push yourself up. Then lower yourself slowly onto one forearm and then the next. Rock back onto your other arm, lift up, and raise yourself once more with extended arms. Be careful to not lock your elbows.
17. Knee-To-Elbow Plank
Staring in basic position, draw one knee toward your elbow as far as you can without twisting or moving your upper torso. Stretch your knee back without touching the floor, and then bring it back to your elbow. Repeat with other leg.
18. Bird-Dog Plank
Begin in basic position. Lift your right leg straight up behind you, then lift your left arm straight out. Try to stay in a straight line from fingertip to toe, then switch.