Planks are one of the top bodyweight exercises you will see recommended. Even a beginner can do them for a few seconds at first, then gradually hold it for longer and longer. There are many types of planks from the elbow plank to the full plank, as well as other variations. Here are 5 different types of planks to try out.
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Men’s Health
1. The Standard Plank
The first type of plank you are probably familiar with. This might be known as a full plank, standard plank, or hand plank. All you have to do is get into the position of doing a push-up, without actually doing the push-up. You are just going to hold it, like many other planks. This engages your abs, but also works your legs, arms, and shoulders at the same time.
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Men’s Health
2. Elbow Plank
The next type of plank is another basic one where you are meant to hold it for as long as you can. This works your ab muscles even more, and can give your hands and wrists a break if they hurt while doing a full plank. With the elbow plank, the only difference is that you are resting your body on your elbows and upper arms, which will be flat on the ground. This is great for people with arthritis in their hands or who have sensitive and weak wrists.
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Barbell Pursuits
3. Side Planks
When you get used to these elbow and full planks, you can then add the side planks. You are resting your body weight on just one arm or elbow, so they are going to be more challenging. You want to first do your preferred style of plank, then shift your body so that you are resting on just one side, with your heels touching and legs together. Hold it as long as you can, then switch over to the other side.
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Muscle & Fitness
4. Shoulder Touches
Shoulder touches are also a more challenging type of plank since you are resting your body on one hand for much of the workout. You want to do a full, standard plank with your hands flat on the ground and back as flat as you can get it. You will then lift one hand and tap the opposite shoulder with it, alternating back and forth to do the shoulder touches. Try 10 reps, then gradually increase them as you get stronger.
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5. Side Leg Planks
This move is going to really work on your core, plus giving you an excellent leg and buttocks workout as well. Start in your preferred plank, whether it is an elbow or full plank. Then lift one leg, bending your knee and pulling it toward your body, but on the opposite side. Put your leg back on the ground, and repeat the same for the other leg.