Top 30 Thursday: 30 Plank Exercises To Shock Your Core {And Body}

Hello friends! Was anyone else effected by yesterday’s Comcast outage? Which is the reason for the late post today. No internet = no blogging 🙁

I know being a trainer I am suppose to love and worship planks, but guess what?

I don’t. You won’t see me kissing the ground they walk on.  I love them for what they are:

A killer core burner and body sculptor.

Thought they just worked your core? Nope, not if you’re doing it correctly!

But they’re boring.

These two ladies are amazing at planking on their elbows for extended periods of time.

Me on the other hand…

I have to incorporate them into my workouts in other ways, or else after a sad 60 seconds I get bored and give up.

Hence, needing these plank variations.

The plank can be used for so many different exercises, in fact, you can create an entire body workout staying on the ground! Check out the list, and my challenge to you (like with the burpees) is to try out at least 15 of these moves today or tomorrow.

Are you in? 

Let’s do this plank thing…

30 Plank Variations For Working Your Abs #coretraining #planks #abexercises


30 Amazing Plank Exercises To Improve Your Love Of Planks

1. Elbow Plank (“Classic Plank”)

Forearm Plank
The classic move and where you should start your planking journey.

  • Make sure to keep your tush down and head in a neutral or looking slightly forward position. Don’t drop the head to look down at your toes.
  • Keep the shoulders directly over the elbows or a little bit forward. But not behind as this drives your butt into the sky.
  • Squeeze the butt and thighs together to engage the muscles.
  • Breath!
  • Now hold it for as long as possible!

2. Top Of Push-up Plank

Hand Plank
  • Just like the plank above, but have arms pressed to extension as if getting ready to do a push-ups. 
  • Hands stay directly under shoulders.
  • For many, this is an easier variation to start with due to the slight incline of the body.

3. Side Plank

Side Plank
  • Rotate the body and like standard plank, keep the elbow directly under the body. 
  • Pull the hips up towards the sky.
  • Have the top arm placed either on hip or extended up.

4. Plank Jacks

Plank Jax
  • Start in the classic plank position. 
  • Feet start together, then jump them a little wider than shoulder width apart and jump back to start.

5. Spidermans

Spiderwoman Plank
  • Start at the top of push-up position. 
  • With the foot flexed, bring the right knee towards the right elbow.
  • Leg is bent to 90-degrees with the hip rotating the foot out, away from the body.
  • While the leg is moving up, look back towards it to really feel the core work.
  • Repeat with the left side.

6. Plank Up-Downs (“Hell Raisers”) 

Plank Up Downs
  • Start in the classic position and lift the right arm up, place the hand where your elbow was (right under the shoulder) and push up to the top of a push-up.
  • Lower back down, one elbow at a time and repeat with the other hand being the “lead” arm.

7. Side Plank Toe Touches

Side Plank Toe Touch
  • This is an amazing balance move. It will also work the core and shoulders. 
  • Start in elbow side plank and the hand right under your shoulder.
  • The top foot remains straight and kicks out and up while your top arm reaches to touch your toes.
  • Return to start and repeat until set is over. Then, move to the other side.

8. Side Plank Knee To Elbow

Plank Knee to Elbow
  • Similar to above as far as starting position. 
  • The top arm is place with hand on your head and elbow going towards the sky.
  • The top leg bends up towards the elbow.

9. Tom Cruise Plank (Mission Impossible Style)

Tom Cruise
  • Start in the top of a push-up position. 
  • Slowly widen your hands and feet as wide as possible.
  • Lower your body down towards the ground so it’s just hovering.
  • Hold it.

10. Plank Walks

Plank Walks
  • Start in push-up position and take a step to the side by moving both your hand and your leg.
  • Then move the other side to return to push-up position.
  • Repeat so you move down the floor.
  • Concentrate on keeping the butt down as it’s easy to let it climb up.

11. Plank Rows (Renegade Rows)

Renegade Rows
  • Get in a push-up plank with dumbbells.
  • Keep the core tight as you row the weight up to the outside of your chest, elbow being pulled straight up.

12. Plank Lateral Jumps

Lateral Plank Jumps
  • Start on elbows or top of a push-up (what’s best for you) 
  • Squeeze legs together and jump feet from side to side.
  • If you have a stepper, you can use it to jump over.

13. Plank Thrusters

Plank Thrusters
  • Push-up start position. 
  • Keep your shoulders in line above hands.
  • Jump your feet forward between your hands and back out to a tight plank.

14. 1-Legged Plank

One Leg Plank
  • From the classic plank, lift one leg off the ground.
  • Hold for a count and lower to repeat on the other side.

15. 1-Arm Plank

One Arm Plank
  • From the classic plank, lift one arm off the ground.
  • Have it extended along side of the body.

16. Bird Dog Plank

Bird Dog Plank
  • A combination of both #15 and #16.
  • Keep the hips square and have your eyes fixed on something for balance.

17. Wall Plank

Wall Plank

This is perhaps my favorite!

  • Place the hands on the ground, and slowly walk your feet up a wall. 
  • Stop once your body is completely straight from shoulders to walls (at a 90-degree angle with the wall)

18. Plank Hip Twisters

Plank Hip Twists
  • Start in classic position. Rotate the hips.
  • Tap a hip on the ground along your center line.
  • Return to plank start and repeat other side.

19. Stability Ball Plank

Stability Ball Plank
  • Place your elbows on a stability ball, make sure they are directly under your shoulders.
  • Push through your shoulders to maintain proper former.

20. Plank Leg Raises

Plank Leg Raises
  • A variation of the 1-legged plank.
  • Start in classic plank, keep your leg straight and foot flexed as you lift it off the ground.
  • Lower it to tap your toe and quickly pull it back up.
  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the next.

21. Plank Rainbows

Side Plank Rainbows
  • Grab a very light dumbbell.
  • Start in classic side plank, extend one arm out to the side, straight (but not locked) holding the weight.
  • Raise the weight so that it straight towards sky.
  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the next.

22. Reverse Plank

Reverse Plank
  • Start by sitting on your butt, legs extended out in front and hands placed on either side of your tush.
  • Lift your hips, squeeze your butt, and open your chest.

23. Plank Rocks

Plank Rockers
  • Push through your toes to drive your shoulders forward and back.
  • Make sure to keep a tight core to avoid arching the back.

24. Mt Climbers

Mt. Climbers
  • Start top of push-up position.
  • Keep the shoulders over hands and drive the knees in to your chest as quickly as possible.
  • It’s easy to let the butt creep up, don’t let it!

25. Plank Toe Taps

Plank Toe Taps
  • Start in classic position.
  • Keep the legs straight and reach the right foot out and back to start.
  • Complete all on one side before moving to the other.

26. Rotating Mt Climbers

Rotating Mt Climbers
  • Start like normal mt climbers.
  • Instead of knees straight in, drive them in a rotational manner. Right knee to left armpit; left knee to right armpit.

27. Floor Bridge

Floor Bridge
  • A great plank reverse move.
  • Keep the heels on the ground and under the knees.

28. SB Reverse Plank

SB Reverse Plank
  • Great balance and minimal stress.

29. SB Decline Plank

Decline Plank
  • Classic plank with extra balance.
  • Keep hips align in good form.

30. Push-Ups!

  • How can I talk planks without doing the ULTIMATE plank exercise?
  • And how could I not snap a picture!? Because if you need help with push-up form, please check out this Push-Up Progression program to help!

What do you think?

If you’re in for the challenge, for the planks that include reps… aim for 25 reps.

For planks that are meant to be held, aim to hold for 30-60 seconds.

Did you get value from this post?

Check out these other exercise variations posts:

Q: What’s your favorite plank? 

Take the plank challenge and if you like this please “Share” it with either Twitter or Facebook! I would really appreciate it 🙂


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This