20+ Different Types Of Plank Variations & Benefits

To do the planks, “form” is very important. Executing planks in the right way with the right form generate the maximum result and reduce the risk of muscle cramps or injuries. In this article, I’ve shared different types or variations of plank including planks for beginner, intermediate and advanced. Not only this, but we’ll also discuss plank benefits for overall fitness and fat loss.

When it comes to the core workout, the plank is the first and the foremost exercise everyone prefers. Because they are exciting, fun, have different variations and the most important thing they are effective for the overall body especially the core.

Having a strong core is more important than having bigger biceps or triceps. Because, it comprises different muscle groups such as abdominals, back, hips, pelvis, and buttocks. A strong core helps you in your advanced exercises like weight squats, deadlift and other weight lifting exercises.

According to an article published in Harvard Medical School, A weak core can cause several problems such as; It can lead to poor posture, can cause shoulder pain and the lower back pain

Okay, so let’s just quickly jump on the main topic and chose your best plank variations from these different types of beginner to advanced level planks.



Various Plank Types For Beginners


1. High Plank

High-plank is a beginner-friendly plank because it only requires you to place your palms on the ground instead of the forearm which makes it easy to begin your planking. It works on various muscle groups such as core, hips, legs, arms and shoulders.

To do the high plank

  • kneel down and place your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart, arms extended directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Now kick your legs behind you to get into a push-up position. Make sure your weight stays on your hands and toes. Focus on the core for the 30 seconds to complete this movement.
  • The duration of this exercise depends on one’s strength and stamina.

2. Incline plank

There are two ways you can do the incline plank; the first one is kneeling incline plank and the second one is the standard incline plank. It is up to your strength either you do the first one or the second one. The recommended one is the standard incline plank.

How To Incline Plank
  • Stand straight in front of the stuff like the chair, table or the box then kneel down and place your forearm on the stuff. Make sure your body makes at least a 30-45 degree incline.
  • Now lift your knees behind you to form a straight line from head to heel. Make sure your weight stays on your forearms and toes. Brace your core and hold into this position for at least 30 seconds.

3. Kneeling plank

The easiest plank on this planet is the kneeling plank. Everyone can do this irrespective of age and weight. It is less effective but a good way to start your core workout training.

Here are the simple steps to do the kneel plank:

  • kneel down and place your forearms on the ground slightly shorter than shoulder-width apart. Make sure your arms placed directly below your shoulders and knees behind you.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible, brace your abdominal muscles and hold into the position for as long as you can.

4. Reverse Plank

Like other plank variations, the reverse plank also strengthens the core and tone muscles. At the same time, it also works on different muscles such as lower back, quads, glutes and the abductor.

How to do the reverse plank
  • Sit on the floor on your buttock, legs extended straight in front of you. Put your hands on the ground behind you, fingers point opposite to the body.
  • Now push up until your arms extended and make sure they’re below your shoulder and your body forms a straight line from head to toe.
  • Now brace your abdominal muscles and hold into the position for the desired amount of time.

5. Reverse plank leg raise

Reverse plank leg raise is more versatile than the reverse plank. Because it also works on the rectus obdominis which tones the core muscles.

Here’s how you can do the reverse plank leg raise:

Steps will be the same as the reverse plank but instead of holding your body into the plank position, raise your leg (one by one) until you feel the squeeze in your ab muscles. Do this for at least 30 seconds to get the good result.


6. Crouch hover plank

The Crouching hover plank works on the whole body especially the core. It also improve posture and balance.

How to do the crouching hover plank

  • Get into a tabletop position on your hands and the knees. Legs behind you, knees on the ground, and maintain a tight core. Now slightly lift your knees off the ground so that your body weight stays on your hands and the toes. Hold in this position for at least 30 seconds for a better result.

Several Types Of Plank for Intermediate Level


7. Rocking plank

Now it’s time to rock…!! The rocking plank is something like that, it not only works on the core but also strengthens the lower and the upper body. Beginners can also do this plank.

How to do the rocking plank:

  • Get into a normal position with your forearms slightly shorter than shoulder-width apart and below your chest. Keep your back straight and maintain a straight line from your head to the heels. Make sure your weight stays on your hands and toes only.
  • Now tighten your core and slowly move your upper body forward by rising higher onto your toes until your shoulders cross the fingertips.
  • Then slowly move into the opposite direction to get back into the starting position. Do this for the desired amount of time.

8. Forearm plank

Doesn’t matter whether you go to the gym or not, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, the plank is for all. The forearm plank is used to be the most performing core workout.

Different Types Of Plank Variations & Benefits

From strengthening the core to increasing endurance it has numerous benefits. Plank tone muscles, improve posture, flatten the tummy, strengthen arms and shoulders.

How to do the forearm plank:

  • Get into a push-up position on your forearms, legs extended straight behind you and maintain a straight line from your head to the heels.
  • Hold your body weight on your forearms and the toes with keeping the back straight and core tight.
  • Hold in this position for as long as you can but at least 1 minute for effective result.

9. Side plank

Here comes the first exercise which works on the oblique and builds a strong core. Side plank has different variations, will see below in this post. Other than the core, it also acts on the hips, arms and the shoulders. It also improves your balance and coordination.

It’s quite easy to perform. Here are the steps to do the side plank:

  • Start with holding your body weight on the right side on your forearm. To make it easy, keep your right arm extended below your shoulder. Legs are extended and piled from hip to feet and keep your other arm on your body.
  • Keep your torso is straight in line, tight your abdominal muscles and hold into this position for the desired amount of time.

10. Side Plank Hip Raise

The side plank hip raise is modified side plank variation and involved hips movement. It is a lower-back friendly exercise which strengthens the core especially the obliques as well as it improves balance and coordination.

How To Side Plank Hip Raise

The steps are similar to the side plank, but there is one more step you need to add. Instead of holding your body into the fixed position, lower hips slowly toward the floor without touching it, and then lift it again. When you’ve done on the one side move onto the other. Suggested time 30 seconds each side.

Find difficult? Well, you can make it a bit easier by bending your knees and even easiest putting your side knees on the ground.


11. Side plank leg raise

Another side plank variation in this list is side plank leg raise. This is one of the best planks for the oblique compared to the others. It allows you to targets the oblique more deeply that solidify the core muscles.

Here are the steps to do the side plank leg raise:

  • Begin with, holding your body weight on the right side on your forearm. Your forearm should be underneath your shoulder. Keep your legs extended straight in line, one leg on the other and make sure your weight stays on the forearm and the side feet.
  • Keep your torso is straight in line, tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your left leg as high as you can. You can hold for a couple of seconds at the top then lower it down into the starting position. That’s one rep! Suggested: 10 reps on each side.

12. Reverse plank hip raise

When you do reverse plank hip raise, you’ll find some similarity with the pelvic tilt. Reverse plank hip raise not only works on the core but also strengthen the lower back. At the same time, it also improves flexibility, muscles coordination and balance.

How To:

  • Sit on the floor, legs extended straight in front of you and place your hands on the ground behind you, fingers point opposite to the body.
  • Now push-up until your arms extended and make sure they’re below your shoulder and your body forms a straight line from head to toe.
  • Now tighten your abdominal muscles then slowly lower hips toward the floor without touching it, and then lift them again. Do this for the desired amount of time.

Intermediate To Advanced Plank Level


It’s time to explore the best planks variations, I’m saying best not because they are difficult or hard. I’m saying because they’re super effective. Let’s just quickly find out those:

13. Knee To Outside Elbow Plank

This plank variation works on several muscles especially the side abs or oblique. But, to perform the knee-to-outside-elbow plank, one should have a good balance.

Here’s how you can do:

  • Get into a push-up position on your forearms, legs extended straight behind you and maintain a straight line from your head to the heels.
  • Hold your weight on your forearms and the toes with keeping the back straight and core tight. That’s your starting position.
  • Now bring your right knee out toward the right elbow. Then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side to complete one rep. Do for this desired number of repetitions.

To make it easier, you can even do this on higher plank instead of forearm plank.


14. Extended Plank

Like other planks, it also increases core strength, helps you flatten your belly or maintain abs, and improve posture. Additionally, it also heightens muscles flexibly and muscle coordination.

How to do the extended plank:

Assume a push-up position with your arms extended and 8-10 inches away from your shoulders and maintain straight legs behind. keep your body straight in line from head to the heels. Brace your core and glutes and hold in this position for the desired amount of time.


15. Knee to opposite elbow inside plank

The knee-to-opposite-inside-elbow plank not only works on the oblique but also activate rectus obdominis muscles.

To do the this movement:

  • Get into a push-up position with your arms extended and slightly wider than shoulder-width, legs extended behind you and maintain a straight line from your head to the heels.
  • Hold your weight onto your hands and the toes with keeping the back straight and core tight. That’s your starting position.
  • Now bend your right knee and bring it from inside toward the left elbow. Hold for a moment if you want then return your leg into the starting position and repeat on the other side to complete one rep. Do for this desired number of repetitions.

16. Decline Plank

The decline plank not only improves core strength but also works on the shoulder. The elevated position of plank put more stress on the shoulder and increase shoulder strength. Avoid if you have any shoulder pain issue.

How to do the decline plank:
  • Get into a forearm plank position with your legs extended behind you on 30-45 degree incline stuff like a bench, chair, table, medicine ball etc. Keep your body straight in an elevated position from top to the bottom.
  • Maintain a tight core and hold in this position for 30-45 seconds at least for a good result.

17. Single-leg plank

Like other planks, one-leg plank is also effective for the core as well as balance and mobility.

Here are the steps to do the single-leg plank:
  • Assume a push-up position with your forearms on the ground and below the shoulder. Keep your back straight and core tight and raise your one leg until it is parallel to the floor. Hold for 5-10 seconds at the top then lower it down and repeat the same with your other leg. The duration of this plank is up to you and your strength.

Advanced Level Planks

18. Bird dog plank

Not the easiest one! Because this requires a good balance. When I do for the first time I made a mistake. So make sure you don’t make a mistake that’s why I’m going to share with you it’s proper technique.

How to do the bird dog plank:
  • Get into a high plank position with your legs extended behind, maintain some space between your legs about shoulder-width and keep your back straight and core tight. That’s your starting position.
  • Now begin to raise your right arm and left leg at the same time until they are parallel to the floor. Hold for a moment at the top then slowly lower it down. Then repeat this movement with your opposite side.
  • This is one of the difficult plank types, so do this for the desired amount of time.


19. Single Arm Plank

To do the single Arm Plank

  • Get into a normal forearm plank position with your legs straight behind you. Keep your body straight from top to the bottom. That’s starting position.
  • Tight your abs and glutes muscles and slowly lift your one arm up until it is parallel to the floor. Then bring it down and lift the other one, hold and return back on the floor to complete one rep. Do as many reps as you can.
  • Keep your body firm to avoid any disbalance during the movement.

20. Moving Plank

Where do I need to move? Well, you can move your right, left, forward and backward. This plank variation is a kind of walking on your forearms and the toes. If you can do standard forearm plank you can also do this.

Here are the steps for how to do a moving plank
  • Get yourself into a forearm plank position, keep your core tight and back straight and make sure your weight stays on your forearms and the toes.
  • Now slowly move toward the right (8-10 inches from the middle) then return to the beginning then move to the left and again return to the beginning, in the same way, repeat in the other two directions.
  • Do this for the desired amount of time.

21. Push-ups to Plank

The push-ups to plank work on various muscles such as the back, chest, arms, core and the hips. Not only this but it also stabilises spinal muscles and improves coordination.

How to Push-up Plank:
  • Start with a high plank position, with your arms extended and placed below your shoulders.
  • keep your core tight and back straight and make sure your weight stays on your hands and the toes. That’s the beginning position.
  • Now lower down on your one forearm followed by the other, so you’re now in a forearm plank position.
  • To do the final step, push the floor with your one arm followed by the another to return in the high plank position. Thar’s one complete rep! Do the desired number of repetitions.
  • Keep your core tight during the whole movement.

Some Other Types of Plank

  1. Reverse plank hip lift
  2. Plank hip dip
  3. Plank jack
  4. Rowing plank
  5. Mountain Climbing

Weighted Plank

  1. Kettlebell Side Plank
  2. Weight Plate forearm plank
  3. Extended Weight Plate Plank

Planks That Work On The Oblique

  1. Side Plank
  2. Plank hip dip
  3. Knee to opposite elbow inside plank
  4. Knee to outside elbow plank
  5. Side Plank Hip Raise

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