Plank for all muscle groups

Plank is an exercise that was included in at-home workouts a couple of decades ago. Then, people gradually forgot about it. Newfangled simulators appeared on the market that helped to “achieve perfect six pack on the stomach”, as well as freshly developed training complexes.

Lately, plank again appeared on the sports horizon. How come? Let us clear up what opportunities provides a seemingly simple exercise and what kinds of plank exist.

It is a static exercise, and this fact basically causes doubts in people, who desire to get toned and well defined muscles. What is our psychology like in fact? Everything must be hard. And here, all you have to do is to stand in plank for a minute or two.

Well, you have to do your best to do it correctly, even if for a minute. Exercise involves several muscle groups in the process. IF you change the position of the hands and feet, experiment with the number of support points, you will work through your:

  • abdominal muscles,
  • arms,
  • back,
  • buttocks.

In fact, you will work through a lot of different muscle groups. The most pleasant is the fact that this exercise does not require any special conditions. You can do the plank exercises anywhere, including:

  • at home,
  • in a hotel room (when you are on a business trip),
  • in the park.

Any space or place that provides you with an area for support, suits perfectly well for doing the plank exercises.

To perform these exercises do not need additional equipment, but at the same time they are very effective for the abdominal and body muscles. If you never have enough time for sports, plank is a godsend for you. One-minute exercise instantly warms up the entire body, and if you do the plank every day, you will notice that you managed not only to build muscles, but also became more enduring.

We will show you the classic and advanced plank types. The only important thing is to comply with the technique. Even if you do the plank for a shorter period of time, it will be a lot more, if you do it properly, instead of keeping it longer and incorrectly.


Effect: helps work through abdominal muscles well.

Technique of execution:

  • Hands under the shoulders, keep the legs and back straight.
  • Keep your head down and look ahead.
  • Maximize the tension of the abs, and twist the pelvis, that is, the hips should not sag or stick out


Begin with 1 minute, increase the time by 30 seconds every two days. Thus, you will gradually bring the plank to 3 minutes. If you are tired, do not lower your knees to the floor. Instead, switch to the “dog face down” position. This will help you relax and preserve the effect.

ELBOW PLANK (complicated version of the classic plank)

Effect: works well through the abdominal muscles, large pectoral muscle, deltoid muscle, square muscle of the lower back.

Technique of execution:

  • Make sure that your back is straight, the low back does not sag, and the hips do not stick out.


If you cope easily with the elbow plank, it means that you are doing something wrong! In this position, the muscles that hold your body in a straight position are strained. Not only your stomach muscles build, but the muscles of the arms, back and front surface of the thigh, as well.


Effect: the external and the inner muscle of the abdomen is worked through well, the middle gluteus muscle and the wide hip muscle are also involved.

Technique of execution:

  • The body is one straight line. The legs stand either one on the other (thus make it more difficult), or one in front of the other.
  • Keep the abs as tight as possible, the upper hand on the lower back or pointing upwards with the palm open.Take care that the pelvis does not sag down.
  • To change sides, do not get down on your knees.Get into the classic plank on straight hands, and then turn to the other side.

Start from 1 minute on each side. If it’s too hard, rest, and, of course, in the “dog face down” position. Return to the starting position and hold on for a minute. You will notice that you need less rest each next time, since you are getting sturdier. Then increase the time.


If you have mastered the complicated version of the side plank, it’s time to move to a new level and leave only two points of contact.

Effect: helps you work through the external and the inner muscle of the abdomen, the middle gluteus muscle, and involves the wide hip muscle and the external muscles of the thighs. In addition, it involves a lot of muscles that are responsible for stabilization and help to keep the balance.

Technique of execution:

  • Take the starting position of the side plank and tear off the leg and hand from the ground. Keep them as tight as possible.
  • At the same time, make sure that the pelvis does not go down.

And who said that it would be easy! Yet the exercise is most effective and works on almost every muscle of your body.


This plank version is complicated by a reduced number of contact points.

Effect: even greater load on the cortex. In addition to keeping your own weight, you will have to monitor the balance to maintain one straight line.

Technique of execution:

  • Get into the starting original plank position and tear off the hand or leg from the ground, while the pelvis remains in parallel with the floor.
  • Make sure that neither the shoulders nor the hip joints move from the straight line.


Why are there so many plank types in fact? Because this remarkable exercise is perfect by the fact that even a small change in it increases the load manifold. For the previous exercise, we reduced the points of contact. Getting down onto the elbows, we will increase the load, since keeping the body straight will become even a more difficult task.

Effect: the load on the muscles of the abdomen and buttocks increases, and the oblique muscles are involved. To stay in a straight position, our body needs to involve all the muscles existing in that area. One thing is sure – this kind of plank is very effective.

Technique of execution:

  • Please note that you should transfer to this plank type only when you are confidently doing the common plank on two hands.
  • Now get into the classic elbow plank, then lift right and left hands and feet one by one.


Maintain each position for at least a minute. Make sure that your plank is, first and foremost, correct – that is, straight.


In fact, this exercise is the yoga asana “Chaturanga dandasana”.

Effect: you strengthen the muscles of the arms and abdomen and develop strength. You also get an internal massage of the abdominal organs! It quickly restores blood circulation after the long working day sitting at the desk.

Technique of execution:

  • Get into the classic plank position,
  • Pressing your elbows to the body, bend them so that your body is parallel to the floor.

Chaturanga dandasana

Keep an eye out for the elbows. Look forward and do not forget to breathe! Exercise is quite a difficult one, so maintain this position, as far as possible, and gradually increase the time. 


Effect: stabilizing muscle work, as well as the muscles of the abdomen, shoulders and arms.

Technique of execution:

  • The starting position is the straight-arm plank again.
  • Next, “step” with one hand to the side, so that your arms are crossed.
  • Tighten the abdominal muscles, tuck the coccyx inside and maintain this position for a minute or more.


Effect: oblique abdominal muscles and arm muscles heat well and build, stamina increases.

Technique of execution:

  • The starting position is the same you take when doing the side plank.
  • Legs – one after another.
  • Then lower one hand and concentrate on your position: spread the shoulders, make sure that the back is straight, and the coccyx does not hang.


Pay attention to the breath – it should be even.


Effect: the load on the gluteal and calf muscles.

Technique of execution:

  • Hands under the shoulders, fingers “look” strictly toward the heels.
  • Pull the toes forward, push the pelvis upwards, maximally straining it, with the sight directed to the ceiling.


Keep in mind that you need to keep the back straight and maintain it for one minute. 


Effect: load on the triceps, muscles of the buttocks and the abs, the front of the thigh. Plus, small muscles-stabilizers are involved in the process, which will help keep the body balance.

Technique of execution:

Begin doing this exercise when you are confident about performing the classic plank and the reverse plank. To get the effect, you need to perform this exercise in strict compliance with the technique.

  • Start all the same way as described above: fingers of the hands are directed towards the feet, feet are stretched, pelvis is pushed up.
  • From this position, raise your leg up.Look up, watch the pelvis.


At first. begin with a short execution time, hold on for 20 seconds, and make sure that you do it correctly. Gradually increase the time. 


Effect: load on the triceps, muscles of the buttocks and the abs, the front of the thigh. Plus, small muscles-stabilizers are involved in the process, which will help keep the body balance.

Technique of execution:

  • The base is the same as that in the classic reverse plank (pay attention to the fingers, hips, back).
  • Lean on the legs only, which are bent at a 90-degrees angle.


Make sure that there is a straight line at the bottom and your knees do not move apart. Do not lower your tailbone and do not throw your head back! Keep the plank for 30 seconds, and do not forget to breathe deeply and evenly.