Plank Your Way to Fit

Plank to strengthen your body!

plank for flat abs

Plank…sounds painful, right?

Well it isn’t, but it’s not easy. It is worth the effort, however. In fact, planks offer one of the best forms of strength training to help you become fit.

Plank Pose – The most traditional of them all, this pose requires that you balance on your elbows and toes while keeping your body in a straight line. You can think of it as the position which is a precursor to a push-up. While you are here, pull in your belly button towards your spine. Keep your back from arching by lifting your hips a little higher in the air. Don’t worry, the shaking will stop as you build stronger muscles.

Plank Pose Leg Lift – Variation of the plank pose that adds a new challenge: Lifting one of your legs up in the air while balancing your body with the other. The best idea is to lift your leg at the moment you are pulling your belly button in. For an added physical benefit, squeeze your glute muscles while the leg is lifted. Return to the plank pose, and repeat for the other leg. Do 5-8 sets on each side.

Plank Pose Twist – Best for straightening both oblique and abdominal muscles. From the plank pose, lift your right leg, bend the knee, twist the trunk and reach the knee hip. Repeat for the left side once you have returned to the original plank pose.

Side Plank – A little different. Lie on your side and put your right elbow on the ground. Put the left arm on your side, and lift yourself up to form a plank. This targets the back and hip muscles, as well as the abdomen. Hold, and repeat for the other side.

Stability Ball Plank – Use a stability ball to intensify your workout. The ball lets you support your body weight with your chest and arms both on the ball and with your toes on the floor. Then, try (slowly!) to lift your chest way from the ball. This adds support to your upperbody. While keeping your back straight, contract your abs. Once you workout the glitches, try to hold the position for 30-60 seconds.

Watch the video below for a Plank-a-Thon Pilates Workout

Sources: ILoveIndia

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. I can't find the visual for this workout and you don't say how many times for each exersize. Do I do 5-8 on each side?jjcct4

  2. I just worked my way up to a 60 second plank. Problem is at about 50 seconds my head feels like it is in a vice. Am I doing something wrong. When I am finished my whole head hurts. Help!!! Tomorrow I am supposed to do 90 seconds. I'm afraid my head is going to pop…..

    1. Lynette,

      Your head should not hurt during or afterwards. Do NOT continue with the plank workout. It could be that you are tightening up the blood vessels in your neck and this is causing your head to hurt. Without watching you perform the planks, it's impossible to know exactly what's going on. Anytime, a muscle, or any other body part, hurts, STOP immediately. I would recommend consulting your doctor before continuing with any exercise routines.

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