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6 Plank Variations & Step-By-Step Guide Of Doing Them

Plank is a great exercise for a strong core, toned arms and shoulders and for overall good health

Written by: Shubhangi ShahPublished at: Nov 20,2021
Updated at: Nov 20,2021

People exercise for myriad reasons, from losing or managing weight, getting healthy to boost their immunity and protect themselves from diseases. Many also work out for those washboard abs. One of the exercises that are recommended for that is the plank. Sure, those 60 seconds can feel like an ordeal, but what you get after consistently doing that are just not abs, but varied health benefits. Plank:

  • Makes your core strong, which in turn protects you from injury and improves the overall stability.
  • Tones your waist, arms, shoulders, glutes, and legs.
  • Is also believed to improve posture
  • Stretches your lower body, thus making it flexible

Although the forearm plank is the most common, there are several modifications of this full-body exercise that you can try.

Variations Of Plank That You Can Try

Although there are several plank variations, here we’ll look at six of them and go through them one by one.

1# Forearm Plank

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

This is the standard plank that many do. To do this:

  • Start in the push-up position with your core and glutes strong and your back straight.
  • Bend your arms and place your forearms on the floor, so that your elbows rest right beneath your shoulders.
  • Keeping your core and glutes tight, stay in this pose for as long as you can.

2# Full Plank

This is another typical plank type that many do.

  • Come in the push-up position with your core and glutes strong and your back straight. This is your proper plank pose.
  • Stay the same for as long as you can.

3# Side Plank

Not only does the side plank make your core strong, it improves balance and coordination, not to forget it promotes good posture. Here is how you can do it:

  • Start with laying on your right side. Your left knee, hip, and foot should stack right above the right ones. The right forearm should touch the ground and the right elbow should be right beneath the right shoulder. Your head should be right in line with your spine.
  • Firm up your core and glutes and lift yourself, so that other than the outer edge of your right foot and your right forearm, the rest of your body should be lifted from the ground.
  • Stay in this pose for as long as you can and repeat the same on the opposite side.
Also read: Method, Benefits And Precautions Of Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)

4# Reverse Plank

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

This exercise strengthens your glutes, hip flexors, and hamstrings, and improves balance and overall movement. Here is how you can do it:

  • Start in the sitting position with your spine straight and your legs extended in front of you.
  • Place your palms a few inches behind your hips such that your fingers face forward.
  • Firm up your belly, tuck your glutes in and while putting pressure on your palms, lift yourself.
  • Other than your palms and your feet, your whole body should be lifted from the floor.
  • Ensure that your spine remains straight and your hips shouldn’t sag.
  • Stay in this pose for as long as you can.

5# Spiderman Plank

A more complicated and somewhat difficult variation, spiderman plank is another exercise that is great for your core, glutes, shoulders, and obliques. This is how you can do it:

  • Start in the full plank pose with your spine straight, belly firm, and core tight.
  • Lift your right leg, bend your knee and try to bring it as close to your right elbow as possible.
  • Pause for a few seconds.
  • Go back to the proper plank pose and alternate between the two sides.
  • Do this as many times as you can.

6# Dolphin Plank

(Photo Credit: Freepik)

This is also a yoga pose called ardha pincha mayurasana. Here is how you can do it:

  • Start on your all fours with your palms below your shoulders and knees below your hips.
  • Bring your elbows down, which should be right below your shoulders. Your forearms should be parallel to each other.
  • Curl your toes, firm up your belly and glutes and lift yourself, so that other than your forearms and feet, your whole body is lifted from the ground.
  • Stay in this pose for as long as you can.
Also read: 7 Benefits of Doing Planks Every Day

So, these are some of the variations of the standard plank exercise that you can do. These will ensure you a strong core, toned arms and shoulders, and an overall healthy body. However, do note that when it comes to fitness is the key, hence, do these exercises regularly. There is another aspect of health, which is diet, without which you won’t be able to reach your fitness goals. Hence, have a healthy, balanced diet consisting of all the food groups, macronutrients, and other nutrients and minerals. Also, stay hydrated and rest well. These will ensure good health.

Photo Credit: Freepik


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