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10 Different Ways to do a Plank

Getting your abs ready for the summer season? Add a plank to your routine. Not just any plank. Try one of these 10 different ways to do a plank.

How to do a Plank

7 women in a semi-circle in forearm plank position.
Photo by Simona Roubkova on Unsplash

Let’s start with the basics the “how to” of planking. To do a plank get into the pushup position. Palms flat on the floor in line with your shoulders. Feet shoulder width apart and back straight.

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Keeping your back straight is important. Try not to let it round up or in.

Feeling a little more advanced? Give your abs a greater workout and use the forearm plank position. Do this by going down to your forearms (like in the first picture).

We will be using both plank positions (pushup and forearms) for our 10 different ways to do a plank.

Woman in pushup plank position on concrete.
Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

1. Pushup Plank to Elbow Plank

Now that you are familiar with the 2 ways to do a basic plank here’s an exercise that uses both of them. For this first plank you are going to start in forearm plank position.

Next, move one arm to pushup plank position followed by the other arm. Then move one arm back down to forearm plank followed by the other.

The last arm you use to get into the new plank will be the first arm you use to get into the next plank.

Repeat this motion counting each time you go from forearm plank to pushup plank as 1 plank.

2. Twisting Plank

For this plank start in forearm plank position. This plank is done by rolling your hips to the side and touching the floor with your hip.

Then roll to the other side and touch the floor with your other hip. Counting each time your hip touches the floor as one repetition.

Throughout the plank your forearms should remain in the same position on the floor.

3. Plank with Foot Roll

For this plank begin in either pushup or forearm plank position. This time have your feet close together instead of shoulder width apart.

Instead of rolling your hip to the side this time you will roll your feet to the side. The outside of your foot (the one closest to the floor when you roll) will be flat on the floor with your other foot resting on top of it.

Then switch sides and roll to your other foot and let it rest on its side.

As with the twisting plank your arms should remain as stable as possible throughout the exercise. Your hips can’t help but move a little on this one.

4. Roll with Arm Extension

Pretend like you are doing a plank with foot roll but go all the way to the side with your whole body.

Once the side of your foot is flat on the floor and your body is facing turned to the side take your arm (the one NOT holding you up) and extend it up toward the ceiling.

Holding the position for a few seconds.

Then put your arm back down and roll to the other side. When your body is in position extend your free arm once more.

5. Plank with Foot Lift

Either plank position will work for this plank. Start with feet shoulder width apart.

Then lift one foot an inch or two off the floor and hold it there. In the beginning you may only hold it for a few seconds but work toward holding it for 15 sec.

Then repeat with the other leg. It’s a simple way to elevate your plank and really engage those abs.

Man doing a plank with his hands on a ball.
For added difficulty try planking with your hands on a ball.
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

6. Plank with Hip Lower/Lift

Get into whichever plank position is your favorite for this exercise. All your going to do is lower your hips toward the floor. Then go back to your original plank position.

Repeat this motions of lowering and lifting your hips.

Want to see some of these planks in action. Check out this video from Popsugar with trainer Teddy Bass.

7. Mountain Climber

You can do this type of plank exercise in either position but you’ll have an easier time if you start in pushup position. Forearm position doesn’t leave as much room for your knees.

Next, with your legs make a climbing motion (thus the name). You can go slow with one leg bending all the way in and returning before starting the other leg.

Or, you can go fast and move your legs like you are running.

3 people using pads under their arms and knees while doing planks and other exercises.
Not a fan of planking on a hard surface. Check out these plank pads from Amazon.

8. Plank Jacks

Once more you can pick your plank position (pushup or forearm). Begin with your feet together.

Then start jumping your feet out and in. Use the same motion you would use if you were doing a jumping jack.

Another variation would be to jump your legs in toward your abs and then back out.

9. Walking Plank

For the walking plank the first thing you will need is to choose which plank position you want to start in. The object of this plank is to move one direction and then the other.

You do this by moving your right arm to the right as well as your right leg to right. Then move your left arm and left leg to right.

It’s like taking footsteps to one side. Once you’ve moved a few feet in one direction then switch and go back the way you came.

10. Plank with Out Stretched Arm and Leg

This plank will work in pushup or forearm position. Step 1 is to extend one of your arms straight out in front of you.

Step 2 is to extend the opposite leg as arm up off the ground. Then hold this position for a few seconds.

Next, you repeat step 1 and 2 on the opposite arm and leg than you used the first time. This plank will definitely test your balance.

Whether you are a first time planker or a pro try one of these 10 different ways to do a plank to add variety to your workout and muscles to your abs!

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