If you want to do just one workout for the entire body, then you should do planks. Many different plank exercises and plank variations yoga strengthen the core, shoulders and abs without causing any muscular imbalance. Most people can do the basic plank; so today we will study some plank exercise routine variations which can surely enhance your workout.
1. Full basic plank
- Straight arms, directly under the shoulders
- Bum and hips down
- Body in straight line from head to toes.
2. Basic forearm plank
This is an advanced version to add to your plank exercise routine:
- Body in a straight line balancing on elbows and toes
- Concentrate on keeping the core tight.
3. Side plank
Use this variation of planks to flatten stomach and tone the arms. The side plank strengthens the core but also works the quadratus lumborum.
- You can either have your arm straight up or on the hip
- Focus on lifting the hips
- For beginners, an easy way to execute this plank is from the knees and then advance to the feet.
4. Side plank with hip lift
- Begin by lying on the side, hips down.
- Press the elbow in the floor and rest opposite arm on the hip.
- Engage the core and lift the hips. The body should form a straight line head to toe as viewed from the front.
- Place hips on the floor and raise again.
- Repeat on the other side.
5. Side plank with leg lift
- Start on the side
- Stack the feet and lift body off the ground. Press elbow into the floor and opposite hand on the hip or on the head.
- Movement-Raise one leg and bring it down.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Change side and repeat 10 times with other leg.
6. Side plank with crunch
- Stack toes while lying on the side. Lift the hips
- Place hand on the head or raised above and pointing upwards
- Press the lower arm deep into the floor.
- Raise upper leg by bending it in the knee-the knee should be perpendicular to the body.
- Bring the arm down to meet the knee making sure you ‘crunch the abs’ in the process.
7. Bird dog plank
Looking for planks exercises that improve core stability? The bird dog plank fits the bill!
- Start with full basic plank
- Lift opposite arm and leg
- Repeat with other set of arm and leg.
8. Ball plank (ball under hands)
You can use an exercise ball for this one. Take a large or a small one (medicine ball planks)-as per your comfort level. You can also use bosu trainers for these.
- Place your elbows on the ball.
- Balance your body on the toes and elbows.
- Beginners may also rest their stomach on the ball in the beginning.
9. Ball plank (ball under feet)
- Rest the body on the elbows or palms.
- Place the feet on the ball (large) or you can even place knees on the ball.
10. Planks with weights
This combines strength training for a strong core and sculpted body.
- Place weight on the back while you do a basic forearm or elbow plank.
- You can also use a dumbbell and arch the back as you lift the dumbbell arm with elbow pointing up. Continue the plank as you repeat with other arm.
11. Plank Tap
This is a plyometric exercise.
- Start with basic forearm plank.
- Tap shoulder with opposite palm.
- Repeat 15 to 30 times.
12. Pushup plank
- Place hands on the floor in pushup position.
- Keep core tight and toes on the floor, shoulder width apart.
- Make sure the back is straight.
- Hold in the plank position with core tight for allotted time.
13. Reverse plank
This plank variation has you facing upwards. It targets abs, lower back, shoulders, glutes and hamstrings.
- Extend legs in front of you, facing upwards.
- Have your hands slightly behind you outside your hips.
- Lift the hips with body in a straight line from heel to shoulders. Keep head and body in alignment.
14. Spiderman plank kicks
- Do a basic elbow plank
- Keep abs braced and pick one foot off the floor.
- Bring the knee up to the outside of the elbow on the same side.
- Do not let hips sag or rotate.
- Return leg to starting position and repeat with other leg.
15. Planks with donkey kicks
- Do a basic elbow plank
- Fold one leg at the knee with the hip slightly raised upwards
- Kick up, above and down.
- Return to starting position
- Repeat with other leg.
16. Plank with leg lift
You can either lift your leg up and down or do pulsing lifts.
17. Knees to elbows planks
This is like the spiderman plank kicks except that you assume the high plank position and move each knee inwards towards elbow and back. A great variation is doing a crisscross knee to opposite elbow challenge.
18. Plank with lateral arm raise
Intensify the shoulder stability. Raise one arm sideways and keep core tight.
19. Plank walks
Move onto your elbows to your palms back to your elbows and so on. Do this ‘plank walk’ for as long as you can and feel the burn.
Try these 19 easy planks to enhance your full body workout.