HomeHealth articlesphysiotherapyWhat Is a Plank?

A plank is a core workout that helps you gain strength and stability throughout your entire body. Its benefits and variations are explained in this article.

Medically reviewed by

Mohammed Wajid

Published At October 12, 2022
Reviewed AtMay 15, 2023

What Is a Plank?

The plank can be done in a variety of ways, but the essential goal is to keep your body perpendicular to the ground with your stomach facing down and your chest lifted off the ground with either your elbows or hands. The plank resembles being engaged in a prolonged push-up position. Our body should not move and should be able to balance our body weight. It may appear to be an easy task and more accommodating exercise than a series of push-ups, but the plank may become a hard activity. The plank is a common exercise that may be seen in many workout routines.

How to Do a Plank?

This adaptable exercise can be performed in a variety of ways. It is preferable if you first learn how to do a basic plank. Simply arrange yourself as if you were executing a push-up to complete a high plank or front plank, the most common variety. Ascend to the peak of this position, ensuring that your back is straight, and maintain it.

  • Ensure that your elbows are positioned squarely beneath your shoulders.

  • Arrange your wrists and elbows in a straight line.

  • Keep your chin tight to your neck and push your body upwards.

What Are the Different Variations of the Plank?

The plank can be done in a variety of ways. Each type of plank adds a different advantage to each part of our body. It could be performed on different days according to our workout program to get the best results.

The different variations include:

  • Front, side, reverse planks.

  • The 2-minute plank test.

  • Arm or leg lift planks.

  • Side plank crunch.

  • Resistance plank.

What Are the Important Things to Keep In Mind While Doing the Plank?

The important pointers include:

  • Tense your abs.

  • Keep checking your posture.

  • Time your plank.

  • Engage your glutes.

What Are the Major Health Benefits of Doing Planks?

The plank works for practically every muscle group in our body. This means that including planks in your workout routine will strengthen your entire body. Planks not only increase muscle mass, but they also boost our skeletal system's strength, improve our ability to focus and concentrate, and even assist us in breathing effectively.

Below are some of the health benefits -

Best Core Exercise:

Planks work best when combined with a variety of cardio and strength training routines, as evidenced by the fact that they enhance the advantages you get from each specific activity and type of training. The core muscular groups are in some way responsible for helping us carry ourselves through practically every movement we will perform in a day. Therefore, maintaining core strength is critical for everyone who wishes to live a healthy lifestyle.

Improve Your Posture:

Practicing good posture can help you recover from a variety of disorders and prevent the start of others. Planks effectively improve posture by targeting practically all of the areas that are responsible for it.

Planks Help Get Rid of Back Pain:

This advantage is owed in part to planks' improved posture, but the significance of the plank's potential to reduce back discomfort warrants its own section. You will be less likely to develop degenerative diseases if your body maintains and composes itself properly, and you will be able to delay the onset of pain as you age.

Helps in Better Coordination:

How will it be for you to focus on other activities if you can retain your focus during a hard workout like a plank? Planks are not just for improving your body's strength and endurance. They engage a group of core muscles that control how your body moves, which means that planking improves your capacity to maintain your own weight. Planking increases your ability to move, and if you practice it regularly, you will notice that you're more quick, flexible, and coordinated.

Improve Flexibility:

In many yoga practices, the plank is a key pose. Yoga is a terrific kind of exercise for anyone who wants to strengthen their core and increase their flexibility. The fact that the plank is a basic aspect of many yoga training routines shows how useful it can be for your core and your flexibility.

Improve Metabolism:

Planks are excellent for increasing your metabolism by strengthening your core muscle groups, among the largest in the body. Having healthy, powerful muscles means your body is continually expending more energy and, as a result, your body is less able to retain calories as fat.

Improves Mood:

Plank target muscle regions that are commonly stressed and knotted, contribute significantly to human stress. Furthermore, all forms of exercise cause the release of endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals in your body. Because the effects of prescription medication can be instantaneous and quite powerful, many doctors urge regular exercise instead of beginning it straight away.

How Often Can You Plan to Plan?

It is crucial to pay attention to your body and determine when your muscles have had enough and are exhausted. If you have a very weak back, you may notice that if you plank too much in the beginning, your muscles become stiff and sore.

If you are just getting started with core strength, planks should be done frequently. It does not have to be done more than three times during the day. As you gain strength, you can begin to work in multiple sets. So, plank for a minute then rest for a few minutes before doing it again.

You can perform these three to five times each week, but make sure your muscles are not overworked. It is far more vital to have proper form and posture. If you perform planks incorrectly, you will cause more harm than benefit.

What Are the Cautions for People Interested in Planking?

While planking is a great activity, starting with a caution planking record is crucial before adopting a planking program. Excessive use of this exercise, or poor execution, can lead to a variety of unpleasant consequences.

Some of the concerns are as follows:

  • If you are in pain, especially in your neck or pain in the lower back, it is possible that you are not strong enough to put in the effort you are putting in. This may compress the vertebrae causing the spine to strain too much.

  • It is a good idea to start by doing the plank for a few seconds at a time to make sure you do not have any injuries that would be aggravated by completing the exercise.

  • Make sure your hips, head, and shoulders do not slump. When they are not in a linear line, then it may fail to strengthen the muscle areas and instead causes muscle spasms or injuries.

  • Do not put your hands too close together; this can throw you off balance and lead to a lack of stability that will stick with you.

  • Holding of breath is not encouraged - As planks can be held for a longer period day by day, limiting the oxygen supply to the brain for those periods may be harmful. Always a continuous supply of oxygen to the brain is needed, especially when we are on a continuous workout.

  • When you find that you can hold a plank for an extended period, flex your abdominal muscles or belly, or try a more difficult variation.


The plank is one of the more effective exercises as it works uniquely for each core muscle. Also, the benefits of plank could be felt throughout our body as it benefits the muscles, skeletal system, and even your organs if you do it regularly. The plank is an excellent, simple exercise that everyone can learn and should be included in everyone's training routine. Consult your physiotherapist before adding this flexible plank exercise to your workout routine.

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Dr. Muthu Laakshmi. G
Dr. Muthu Laakshmi. G


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