Contact us:  [email protected]  (714) 256-5074

Progressions for Core-Strengthening Planks

Progressions for Core-Strengthening Planks

Planks and side planks are a staple core strengthening exercise. They are very effective at improving your core strength, which is important for stabilizing the spine and preventing low back pain. What’s great about the plank is how simple it is to perform; it requires no equipment and just utilizes your body weight.

 

There are a variety of ways to modify the difficulty of a plank and side plank for individuals of various fitness levels. Here are just a few to get started with!

Kneeling Plank

  1. Start with your elbows and forearm on the floor shoulder-width apart; make sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows
  2. Rest your knees on the floor and lift your feet off the floor
  3. Keep your trunk parallel to the floor by tightening your buttocks and abdominals, and pressing your elbows into the floor; do not let your chest or low back sag to the floor
  4. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds

Full Plank

  1. Start with your elbows and forearm on the floor shoulder-width apart; make sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows
  2. Lift your knees off the floor and keep your toes on the floor.
  3. Maintain a straight line with your body from your head to your feet by tightening your buttocks and abdominals, and pressing your elbows into the floor; do not let your chest or low back sag to the floor
  4. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds

Plank with leg and arm extension

  1. Start in the full plank position as mentioned above
  2. Lift your opposite arm and leg off the floor in a slow and controlled manner
  3. Return your arm and leg to the full plank position and alternate sides.
  4. Repeat for 10 repetitions

Half kneel side plank

  1. Lie on your side with your bottom elbow and forearm on the floor; make sure your shoulder is directly above your elbow.
  2. Bend both knees to 90 degrees and rest your top leg on the bottom leg
  3. Lift your bottom hip off the floor and maintain a straight line with your body from your head to your knees by tightening your buttocks and abdominals.
  4. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side

Side plank

  1. Lie on your side with your bottom elbow and forearm on the floor; make sure your shoulder is directly above your elbow.
  2. Keep your legs straight and rest your top leg on the bottom leg
  3. Lift your bottom hip off the floor and maintain a straight line with your body from your head to your toes by tightening your buttocks and abdominals.
  4. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side

Side plank with hip abduction

  1. Start in the side plank position as mentioned above
  2. Lift your top leg away from the bottom leg in a slow and controlled manner
  3. Return your top leg to the starting position and repeat for 10 repetitions
  4. Repeat on the opposite side

Try these plank exercises to strengthen your core, stabilize the spine, and prevent back pains!

 

Wondering what kind of exercise is best suited for you? Schedule a FREE assessment with Jason today!

 

Want more fitness & exercise tips sent straight to your inbox?

Sign up for Life+!

The following two tabs change content below.
Jason Wong, PT, DPT

Jason Wong, PT, DPT

Jason enjoys watching movies, spending time with his friends, playing computer games, and snowboarding whenever it is in season.