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Plank workouts are an excellent way to get a full body workout from anywhere and there are a lot more variations than people realise!

Plank, if you’re low on time then planks are the way to go. These diverse exercises are perfect for core conditioning and toning whilst engaging many different muscles. They have a lot of variations and adaptations which makes them easy to integrate into an ongoing training program or you can use these to build strength on their own. Obviously, if you are looking for that washboard tummy you need to do a lot more than just planking (nutrition, cardio, strength etc) but planks will help you get into the deep core muscles and it all helps.

Importance of correct form

As this move engages a lot of muscle groups it stands to reason that they would be at a higher risk of tear or muscle injury if you regularly do this move incorrectly. The video below gives you the basics of the proper form for an elbow plank but these rules can be transferred to the other types as well. Also be sure not to lower or lift your head too much as it will strain your neck.

Types of plank and variations

Elbow Plank

This is the traditional plank (as shown above) and involves resting on your forearms. It targets the core abdominal muscles as well as; the back, quads, biceps and shoulder muscles.

Push Up Plank

Unlike the name suggest this plank is static but involves the beginning of a push-up position and therefore keeping straight arms. This moves more of the muscle focus to the arms and back muscles.push up planks for at home plank workouts

Side Plank

Side planks engage the obliques (the love handles) and the hip adductors which mean they are great for runners who are trying to reduce injury risk. They also work the abs, glutes and quads. Remember to spend the same amount of time on each side so you don’t end up with a weaker side. Similar to other planks they can be done by resting on the forearms (below) or by straightening the arms.

Variation: Dip the hips up and down to introduce side crunches into the plank to make it more advanced.

side plank for at home plank workouts
Plank with arm raise

Gets into the deeper core and chest muscles. This move is also great for giving the arms a of bit extra “Oompf”.

Plank with leg raise

You can raise from an elbow plank or a push-up plank, both work the deep lower abdominals further.

Alternating arm/ leg raise

Combining the leg and arm raise alternately works the muscles throughout the core and abdominals. This is a great variation for those looking to improve their balance and fast twitch muscles.

Plank Workouts 

As previously stated you can incorporate planks into a training schedule. I like to turn them into dynamic HIIT workouts. Some of my current plank workouts are;

  1. 20 seconds elbow plank straight up into 20 seconds push up and then 20 seconds rest. Repeat 5 – 10 sets. *Total time 5 – 10 minutes*
  2. 30 seconds Alternating side plank (rotate between both side planks – while maintaining form), 30 seconds rest. Repeat 10 sets *Total time 10 minutes*
  3. 20 second Alternating leg/arm raise side 1, 20 second Alternating leg/arm raise side 2, 20 second push up plank, 60 seconds rest. Repeat 5 – 10 sets *Total time 10 – 20 minutes*

I also like to add the plank into my circuits as a static strength break from cardio moves. For example

  1. 10 burpees, 10 mountain climbers, 30 second push up plank, rest. Repeat 4 sets.
  2. 30 seconds elbow plank, 5 donkey kicks, 30 seconds push up plank, 5 mountain climbers, rest. Repeat 4 sets.

Check out the Health & Fitness section for more workouts, tips and ideas! – If you found these useful why not share them with your friends! Get a group workout session going!

The different types of planks you can do for different muscle groups! & easy at Home plank workouts - no equipment required.

30 comments on “At Home Plank Workouts”

  1. Your instructions on good technique are very helpful. When I try to learn things like this on my own at home, I often don’t get it right, and bad habits are hard to break (not to mention painful!).

  2. Hi Charlotte a great post as I’m a fan of planks and the advantages they bring to core fitness. I have to brag and tell you that my PB for a plank was 15 minutes! Thanks for sharing the points about technique and correct stance which is so important.

  3. I am scared of planks as I really don’t want to do it wrongly. This is such a motivating post and I am going to Pin It so that I am going to refer to it later.

  4. I used to do these a lot when I was actively working as an actress. Need to get back into it. Thanks for sharing. Useful tips x

  5. I’m so happy that you got this post up for us. Indeed plank workouts are must, I’ve lost them in past few months, need to revive back again.

  6. Planks are so effective! I had a coach once who said if you only ever do one exercise a day, make it a plank. Love all these variations.

  7. This is great! I do lot for my yoga routine. But this is great step by step clear guide how to do correctly. I noticed when I do wrong way it can hurt your arms or even shoulder. What a great post makes me workout more!

  8. I hated the plank when I first started at the gym, but as my core strength improved, I really noticed the difference. Will have to try some of the other types of plank.

  9. Planking is definitely something that I find hard to do as I need to build up the strength in my upper body as my form is quite weak and I have back problems! Its important to do it correctly though like you said, otherwise you can injure yourself.

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