8 Plank Variations for a Strong Core

LifeStart General Manager  Rebecca Bersano

LifeStart General Manager Rebecca Bersano


by Amanda Fitzpatrick, ACSM-CPT, ACE-GFI

Planks are one of the best exercises you can do for core strength and stability. Holding the plank position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and surrounding muscles including your shoulders, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. With proper alignment of your shoulders and hips, planks will condition your core and improve your balance, posture, and overall muscular endurance. With these fun plank variations, planks will become your new favorite exercise and a staple in your workouts!  

Complete each plank for 30-45 seconds. Do at least 2 rounds.

1. Plank Lifts

On your hands, lift your opposite arm and leg off the ground at the same time. Float them back down and lift the other sides.

2. Plank Jacks

Either on your elbows or hands, begin with your feet together, jump your feet apart and back together

3. Dolphin Planks

On your elbows, pike your hips up to the ceiling and lower back to your neutral alignment

4. Plank Twists

On your elbows, twist through your torso to bring one hip at a time closer to the ground

5. Side Planks w/ Knee to Elbow

Beginning in your side plank, bring your top knee and elbow in to meet each other. Do both sides.

6. Plank Mountain Climbers

Hold a high plank on your hands and alternate bringing your knees into your chest in a running motion

7. Plank Sliders

With one foot on a Glider (or towel), slide your foot out to the side and back together. Do both sides.

8. Plank Arm Extensions

On your elbows, one hand on a ball, roll the ball away from you and fully extend your arm in front of you. Try to keep your hips square to the ground on this one!

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