Planks are a versatile exercise, and there are several variations that target different muscle groups and add variety to your workout routine. The plank variations provide even more options to challenge your core strength, stability, and overall fitness. Incorporating a variety of planks into your workouts can help you avoid plateaus and continue making progress in your fitness journey.
Remember to use proper form and start with variations that match your current fitness level, gradually progressing to more challenging options as you become stronger.
21 Planks Variations
- Standard Planks: This is the basic plank position where you support your body with your forearms and toes, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Forearm Planks: Similar to the standard plank, but you rest on your forearms instead of your hands. It’s gentler on the wrists and can be a good starting point for beginners.
- High Planks: This variation is performed with your arms fully extended, similar to the “up” position of a push-up. Your hands are directly beneath your shoulders.
- Side Planks: In the side plank, you balance on one forearm and the side of one foot. This targets the oblique muscles on the side of your torso.
- Reverse Planks: In the reverse plank, you sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, your hands behind you, and your torso lifted off the ground. It targets your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.
- Planks with Leg Lift: While holding a standard plank, you lift one leg off the ground and hold it for a few seconds before switching to the other leg. This adds an extra challenge to your core and balance.
- Planks with Arm Lift: Similar to the leg lift variation, but you lift one arm off the ground and hold it before alternating to the other arm. This engages your core and challenges your stability.
- Spiderman Planks: In this dynamic plank, you bring your knee toward your elbow on the same side as you hold the plank. This engages the obliques and hip flexors.
- Plank with Shoulder Taps: While in a standard plank position, you tap one hand to the opposite shoulder, then alternate sides. This adds an element of coordination and works the shoulders and core.
- Plank Jacks: Begin in a standard plank position and jump both feet apart, then back together. This dynamic movement increases your heart rate and engages the lower body.
- Walking Planks: Start in a high plank and lower down to a forearm plank one arm at a time, then return to the high plank position. This variation combines both forearm and high plank positions.
- Rocking Plank: While in a forearm plank, rock your body forward and backward, engaging the core and challenging your balance.
- Plank to Push-Up: Start in a forearm plank position, then push up onto your hands one arm at a time to the high plank position, and then lower back down to the forearm plank. This combines both forearm and high plank positions.
- T-Stand Planks: Begin in a high plank position, then rotate your body to one side, raising one arm toward the ceiling, creating a T shape with your body. This engages the obliques and shoulders.
- Bird Dog Planks: From a high plank position, extend one arm forward and the opposite leg backward while keeping your torso stable. This exercise challenges your core stability and balance.
- Planks with Knee Drive: While in a high plank position, bring one knee toward your chest, engaging your core. Alternate between legs in a controlled manner.
- Extended Planks: Start in a standard forearm plank, then extend your arms forward, one at a time, while keeping your hips and torso steady. This variation works your shoulders and core.
- Planks with Leg Cross: Begin in a forearm plank, then cross one leg over the other at the ankles. Hold for a few seconds before switching the cross of the legs. This adds a twist to the traditional plank.
- Forearm Side Planks with Hip Dip: In the side plank position on your forearm, lower your hip toward the ground and then raise it back up, engaging the obliques and hips.
- Planks with Alternating Leg Raise: While holding a standard plank, lift one leg off the ground, then lower it back down and repeat with the other leg. This variation targets the glutes and lower back.
- Single-Arm Planks: Perform a forearm plank using only one forearm, keeping the other arm extended along your side. This intensifies the core engagement and stability challenge on one side.
Read more on How to perform Planks and its advantages Here.
The above are the most commonly used plank variations. Adding different plank exercises to your routine can target specific muscle groups and keep your workouts interesting and challenging. However, remember to maintain proper form and start with the variation that matches your fitness level before progressing to or even trying to more advanced options. Because trying the plank variations above your fitness and training level may cause you injury. So take care and happy planking!