Elbow plank,Exercise plank
Elbow plank

Plank exercise technique: technique, types, errors in execution

Plank exercise technique is an exercise that uses the muscles of nearly the entire body. By doing the plank every day, you will strengthen your abs, arms, legs, and shoulder muscles. This exercise works well for a beginner training program. So for a professional.

It has been proven that losing weight locally is impossible. Scientists from the University of Virginia, USA, have found that in order to burn 500 g of fat, you need to perform 250,000 crunches – this is 100 repetitions daily for 7 years.

With this in mind, targeting all muscle groups with particular attention to the large muscles of the back and lower body is recognized as the best weight loss strategy.

Universal static isometric exercise for all muscle groups – “plank”.


It does not involve physical activity. Outwardly, it resembles the starting position for push-ups on outstretched arms, in which you must hold on for a certain time. Allows you to strengthen the endurance of the stabilizers of the entire body by working out the muscles:

  • press.
  • bark, or complex of deep muscles.
  • shoulder blades.
  • shoulder girdle.
  • forearms.
  • hands.
  • buttocks.
  • hips.
  • shins.

It requires no additional space and special devices, since you use the weight of your own body. Suitable for all fitness levels. They use it in yoga and in the training of athletes involved in various sports. Exercise can replace morning exercises, because it warms up muscles well, develops strength and endurance.

Benefits of Exercise

  1. Develops core muscles that support internal organs. They form the correct posture and prevent trauma to the lower back.
  2. Trains the functional muscles involved in strength training:
    1. transverse muscles – help to lift enormous weights
    2. transverse muscles – help to lift enormous weights
    3. oblique muscles – take part in the waistline’s formation
    4. buttocks – support the back and form a beautiful profile.
  3. Strengthens the upper and lower back muscles without stressing the spine and joints. Helps to relieve lumbar pain.
  4. Burns more calories than classic exercises. Speeds up metabolism for a long time: 10 minutes planks during the day “speed up” the metabolism, which does not stop during the night.
  5. Develops a sense of balance.
  6. Improves flexibility as it stretches muscles and ligaments.
  7. It takes a minimum of time – just a few minutes a day is needed to strengthen the muscle corset.
  8. Doesn’t require a lot of space and special equipment.
  9. Does not require special physical training – available to novice athletes.
  10. Universal – suitable for women and men.

How much to do at the bar to notice the effect?

Elbow plank,Exercise plankElbow plank

You can test the first results 10 days after the start of daily activities.

  • The lower legs, thighs and buttocks become more toned.
  • The fat layer on the abdomen becomes less pronounced. The upper and lower abs, lateral muscles, are strengthened.
  • The muscles of the arms gain a beautiful relief, but do not increase in size.
  • The back muscles more securely fix and protect the spine. If there were pains, they subside.

How to do the plank correctly: exercise technique

The starting position for the classic version:

  • Take an emphasis lying with support on straight arms and toes of straightened legs. The distance between the legs is hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands at chest level.
  • The distance between them is slightly wider than the shoulders.
  • The position of the spine and pelvis is neutral: lower the tailbone down to remove lumbar deflection. Pull in your stomach. Tighten your glutes. The torso and lower back are in line.
  • Spread your chest, shoulder blades slightly lowered and brought together.
  • Stretch forward with the top of your head and back with your heels.
  • Tighten your legs.
  • Distribute the weight to the fulcrum.
  • Direct your gaze between your palms.

The primary condition for a correct stance in the “plank” is a straight spine. When doing the exercise, do not bend or round your back, breathe naturally and freely. Catch the “right” tension of the press: it depends on the position of the pelvis, the deflection of the lower back.

How long do you need to stand and do sets per day?

At first glance, the exercise seems simple, but unready athletes feel muscle tremors and weakness at the initial stages of its enforcement. Experts recommend avoiding excessive stress on untrained muscles. Strength and endurance are trained gradually. For beginners, 30 seconds of holding the pose per approach are enough.

If you cannot stand for 30 seconds immediately, fix the position for 5-10 seconds, rest and repeat the exercise several times to reach 30 seconds. For each workout, try to hold the position longer – to gain 30 seconds in fewer repetitions. If it is very difficult, start by resting on your knees.

Another option for beginners is also possible – 15 seconds standing and 30 seconds rest, only 2-4 repetitions. Gradually, the time in the “bar” is increased to 1-2 minutes:

  • 1st approach – 30 seconds
  • 2nd approach – 1 minute
  • 3rd approach – 1 minute 30 seconds
  • 4th set – 2 minutes

With regular training, it makes the approaches more and more long-only 30, then 45 seconds, 1 minute and then proportionally.

Another workout plan for beginners (designed for 30 days):

DayTime, sec.DayTime, sec.DayTime, sec.
10602015030300 and more

workout plan for beginners

Advanced athletes can stand on the plank for 5-10 minutes.

Types of Plank exercise technique

There are no less than 100 options for performing the “plank” with an emphasis on one or another muscle group. Advanced options involve more muscles and fewer points of support, so the benefits of the exercise increase.

The most popular types of “plank”: standing on the elbows, knees, at an angle of 45o, in a wide stance, with a diagonal, with a raised arm, and a reverse and dynamic “plank”, with weights and the use of sports equipment. With their help, they add variety to training after mastering the basic version. They switch to more complicated techniques after 6-9 months of performing a classic stand without errors.

back Exercise plank back plank

Plank exercise technique on the elbows

Elbows Exercise plank techniqueElbows plank

When performing the exercise, the muscles of the thighs are actively worked out. The forearms are placed vertically under the shoulders, the arms are bent at right angles at the elbows. The body takes the form of a straight line.

Plank exercise technique on fit ball

Exercise plank technique on fit ballplank on fit ball

Options for performing the exercise: on outstretched arms, on the forearms, with an alternating rise of one leg. Allows you to simultaneously facilitate the implementation and strengthen of individual muscle groups. Recommended for beginner athletes.

Side plank technique

make a side plank on your elbowHow to make a side plank on your elbow

  • Lie on your left side and straighten your legs.
  • Raise your torso and hold on to your left elbow and forearm.
  • Tighten your abdominals.
  • Raise your hips so that your body forms one straight line. Keep your lower body weight on the outside of your left foot.
  • Fix the position.

Plank exercise technique on one arm alternately

plank on one arm alternativelyPlank on one arm alternatively

Helps to effectively pump the muscles of the arms and chest, forms an ideal posture.

  • Step into the classic plank.
  • Spread your feet wide on your toes.
  • Raise one hand while maintaining balance. Fix the position.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Repeat for the other hand.

Plank exercise technique on one arm and one leg

Exercise plank technique on one arm and one legPlank on one arm and one leg

An excellent exercise for working out the oblique abdominal muscles.

  • Starting position – plank on the elbows.
  • Without turning the body, at the same time extending the arm and the opposite leg parallel to the floor. Fix the position.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Repeat for the other arm and leg.

Plank with weighting

plank with weightingPlank with weighting

It performs the exercise on 3 or 2 support points, therefore it helps to effectively work out individual muscle groups. Its varieties:

  • Classic plank with dumbbell back abduction. The square and broadest muscles of the back, quadriceps muscles of the thighs, deltoid and pectoral muscles, triceps and abdominal muscles work.
  • Classic plank with dumbbell side abduction. The same muscle groups work.
  • Placket with support on an outstretched arm and opposite knee. The second leg and arm from the dumbbells are extended parallel to the floor. The square muscle of the back, hamstrings, deltoid and pectoral muscles, triceps, gluteal muscles, oblique abdominal muscles and abdominal muscles work.
  • Side plank with a straight leg and arm abduction with dumbbells. The abductor thigh muscle, pectoral muscles, triceps, oblique abdominal muscles and abdominal muscles work.
  • Side plank on the forearm with a straight leg and arm extended with dumbbells. The press and oblique muscles of the abdomen, the quadriceps, adductor and abductor muscles of the thigh, pectoral muscles and triceps work.

Dynamic plank with a side stop

  • Lower your left forearm to the floor so that the elbow is directly under the shoulder.
  • One foot on top of the other (the lighter version is shoulder-width apart).
  • The pelvis, thigh and side form a straight line.
  • Raise your right hand up.
  • As you exhale, begin to twist.
  • Slowly lower your right hand put it under the body and twist it as much as possible.
  • As you inhale, return to the starting position.

Perform 3 sets – 15, 20 and 25 times.

You can combine different execution techniques into complexes. Approximate 5-minute exercise routine:

Exercise plank technique - Stand with the raised leg,Plank – Stand with the raised leg

  1. Classic plank – 1 minute.
  2. Elbow stand – 30 seconds.
  3. Stand with a raised leg – 1 minute: 30 seconds for each leg.
  4. Side “plank” – 30 seconds on each side, total – 1 minute.
  5. The basic “plank” is 30 seconds.
  6. Elbow stand – 1 minute.

With the regular execution of the “plank”, the biceps, triceps, lumbar, gluteal, deltoid, lateral, oblique and other muscles develop. Several measures can further improve exercise performance:

  • Putting a gym mat on the floor will remove pressure from the hard floor so that discomfort won’t distract you from the exercise.
  • Rhythmic breathing – delays sometimes lead to dangerous sudden changes in blood pressure.
  • Warm-up – Do not exercise without first warming up squat, do somebody bends, or stretch.
  • Muscle relaxation – After exercise, move a little until breathing stabilizes and muscle tension subsides.
  • Proper nutrition – do not overeat or starve. Eat protein foods, complex carbohydrates, valuable fats, vitamins and minerals for harmonious muscle development.

How to properly stand in the plank: common mistakes when doing the exercise

Unconscious attempts to ease the load on the muscles harm the correct technique for performing the plank. The most common errors are:

  • The arms are not strictly under the projection of the shoulder joint. This increases the stress on the spine, especially the cervical spine.
  • Legs wide apart. The muscles of the press are not worked out enough.
  • The spine is curved. The risk of injury and back pain is increased.
  • Legs are not tight enough. The load on the lower back increases.
  • The buttocks are not tense. The gluteal muscles are not trained.
  • The stomach is not pulled in. The abdominal muscles are not trained.
  • The head “looks” straight. Neck pain may develop.
  • The area between the shoulder blades is strongly tense. Pain in the thoracic spine may appear.

How to make the Exercise plank correctly: all methods and detailed instructions 

The best books for plank exercise technique

If you are going to put your plank exercise technique – this is the top books in order to start to strengthen your abs, arms, legs, and shoulder muscles.

Fundamental and systemic books. The skills of “pro-activeness” and “sharpening the saw” need to be developed throughout your life.

I highly recommend it. It is best to read and be sure to do the exercises. If you don’t enjoy reading from school, try – read it.


A modern person does not always have time to visit a gym. This explains the popularity of the “plank”, which requires a few minutes a day. Many experts consider the exercise to be ideal – to achieve impressive changes in the body and the entire body. Nevertheless, the “plank” does not give an instant effect – to see the result, it must be done regularly.