10 Plank Variations to Take it up a Notch

One of the most effective core exercises is the plank. This effective exercise can be done whether you’re a 70-year-old woman or 17-year-old kid. It’s easy to crank it up to the next level with any plank position. That’s why we’ve put together a list of plank variations that are sure to challenge you, improve your core strength, and get that heart rate going!

Most plank exercises should be done with a certain time in mind. Set a time for your plank and hold the position and remember the phrase I tell my clients: “It’s always almost over!”  Whether you’re doing it for 30 seconds or a minute, no matter how hard it is, you’ll be done with it soon. Also, always try to beat your previous time and challenge yourself as much as you can!

Standard Plank

For a standard plank, just remember to keep your body in line! [click to learn more on proper plank form]


2. Leg Lift Plank

Raise your leg as you keep your body tight in plank position.


3. Arm Lift Plank

Hold your arm up while maintaining plank position.


4. Leg and Arm Lift Plank

Lift one leg and the opposite arm at the same time.


5. Tilted Hip Plank

Tilt your hip towards the ground, return to plank position, and tilt it the opposite way.


6. Hand-to-Knee Plank

Alternate touching your opposite knee with each hand.


7. Hand-to-Sky Side Plank

Raise your hand towards the sky and try to rotate your hip, making both shoulders align.


8. Leg and Arm Raise Side Plank

Do the previous variation with your top leg raised.  This will not only strengthen your core, but your hips as well!


9. Walk it Out Plank

For this variation, walk your hands out as far as you can go without compromising your back strength.


10. Leg Twist Plank

Rotate your hip and move one leg until it’s parallel to the ground. Slowly move it back to the original position, and then try with the other leg.


11. Weighted Plank

I like to do this with a weighted vest but it can also be done if you let a friend add (up to) a 25lb plate to your back. This is advanced, so make sure your plank is solid before attempting.




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Luke Andrus is a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, writer, folk music drummer, husband, and a father. Most of his writing experience is in poetry and fictional short stories, and he also proposed to his wife with a self-published children's book. He is a Narnia nerd with a degree in History, a minor in English, and a semi-obsession with the French language. He believes that fitness is not just about vanity, but about lifestyle, integrity, and the ability to take control of your life.