Body Weight Workouts

Cool workouts for your abs, core, and lower back

The Plank (a core exercise) April 14, 2007

Filed under: core exercise,exercise,fitness,workout — Finn @ 11:54 am

Here’s a good exercise. You just hold this pose for a long time. It works your whole freakin body.

Start out lying on your stomach. Then prop yourself up on your toes and forearms, with your arms facing in front of you, and your hands together. Keep your body in a straight line. If your stomach slips toward the floor, you’re too tired or weak.

The Plank

Hold this for 30 or 60 seconds, or maybe 5 minutes if you’re good. Then do a couple more reps! 🙂

P.S. That’s my shirt hanging down to the floor, not my gut! 😉


42 Responses to “The Plank (a core exercise)”

  1. Gen Says:

    Hey! I just started to workout and I started doin g the plank. I can laast for 1min 10 seconds… and was wondering if you coul;d give me tips for indurance,..? Also, how often should I perform this? Is everyday to often?

  2. bodyweightworkout Says:

    Nice job Gen! 1:10 is a great time, especially if you are doing the plank as part of a full workout routine.

    The best way to improve is to keep doing the plank, and also do a few exercises such as push-ups. (Anything that works your core or shoulders.) My one tip for endurance is to get really motivated – holding the position requires a lot of mental toughness, so work on focusing your mind and working through the pain. That’s the biggest part.

    You could also compete against a friend and see who can hold it longer 😉

    Feel free to do this every day or every other day; or 2-3 times per week. The harder and longer you do the plank on a given day, the more rest you will need afterwards.

    So if do short, moderate workouts, you could do the plank daily. But if you do 30-45 minute intense workouts including multiple planks and other exercises, cut back to 2-3 times per week.

    • Greyson Says:

      Does it make a difference whether your hands are together or not for the plank? I can do a 1 min. 30 sec. plank for 4 sets after a really heavy weight lifting workout. All my planks are in perfect form, but I can only 3 sets back to back but have trouble doing the 4th one. I rest for 2 min. between sets and am increasing each set by 5 sec. everyday until I can do 10+ min. (preferably 15 min). What can I do do get the 4th set back to back? Also when should I increase my rest time since I am trying to increase each plank 5 sec. until I can do a 10 min. plank?

  3. matt Says:

    I entered into a foolish bet when drunk with a colleague. I have $1000 riding on my ability to hold a plank for ten minutes on September 15th. I haven’t done any specific training yet, but held one for 3:10 with a bit left to spare. Is ten minutes possible?

    • Greyson Says:

      Matt, are you able to do 10+ min. right now? (Good form only). If so, I want to do 15 min. by New Year’s Eve, but can only do 2 min. planks without falling flat on my face. Is that enough time to complete my goal, or am I setting myself to failure? (I am a Part Time athlete who is introducing planks for the 1st time in a 2+ hr. workout).

  4. bodyweightworkout Says:

    10 minutes is possible, I’ve heard some people doing 10+ minutes. You’re on yourr way. Good luck!

  5. Rod Says:

    working on rehabbing from a pyriformis injury and core body like the plank and bridging are top on the list. Got any other suggested exercises that will help?

    • dee Says:

      try the quadruped excercise it also focuses on the body”s core including the piriformis fact,it works most of the muscles in the core if not all of them.i managed to somehow get a abdominal strain and i was told by my Dr to try the quadruped excercise, the plank and some stomach stretches to help retrain the muscles in my stomach.and so far it is working, slowly but it’s Dr said those particular muscles cannot be rushed as it will take time.well i hope this info is helpful to you goodluck.

  6. tom Says:

    i can do it for 3 minutes , bt my form drops in the last few minutes .

  7. tom Says:

    i can do it for 30 minutes but my form drops in the last ( correction to my last post)

  8. Fitzgerald Says:

    I have to say the plan is my favorite workout, although I must say, I was entroduced to it 4 years ago by my coach (boxing and football) and we failed out class if we didn’t get a minimum of 3min 30
    Today I can hit 5min 00, I believe I could do it longer but my arms litterally fall asleep and it becomes very painful, I believe this is because I do not have a soft place to do this though (mostly concrete, dirt, and wood, not ideal places)

  9. Piman Says:

    i can do it for 5 mins 10 seconds and i want to hold it for longer, any tips?

    • Dhiren Says:

      all i can say is keep doing what ur doing and i bet ull hold it over 6 minutes like i did lol cnt do it that long now as i haven’t been keeping fit much lately (not good)

  10. hgfdh Says:

    uhh it’s a little hard to believe that you can hold the plank for 30 minutes – that is to say i dont believe you

  11. Blah-d-blah Says:

    Holding a plank for 10+ minutes is a waste of 10+ minutes. You could have done many squats or dead lifts in that time which are a better exercise anyway.

  12. bodyweightworkout Says:


    I’d have to disagree. The plank is a wonderful exercise for core stability and is not a waste of time by any means.

    Squats and deadlifts are great exercises, but you’re comparing apples to oranges here.

  13. gurkha Says:

    I would suggest taking the planks a step further, keeping your palms planted on the ground drop your body until it and your elbows are even, almost like a push up. This gives the upper body a bit more of a workout and creates a less stable platform extending your core power output. as for anyone who thinks squats and dead lifts are a better use of the time, these exercises don’t even work your muscles the same way

  14. :) Says:

    I’m 12 And Im Able To do 2 Minutes ,Is That Ok?

  15. nikki Says:

    Hey i just stumbled upon this website (literally found it using 🙂 ) and i just wanted to say these are awesome poses for working out! It’s really good of you to put these exercises up here and even answer questions. My mom is a yoga teacher so I do many of these poses regularly. My favorite is called Pigeon, you should check it out. Just thought I’d give you a little encouragement! 🙂

  16. I can hold it for about 3 minutes, but it is very tough to do for me.

  17. Megan Says:

    Take your shirt off.

  18. Vicki T. Lee Says:

    OMG! This position kills me! I just started with Jillian Michaels “Yoga Meltdown” (who’s also killing me) and currently working on building my time holding this pose. UGH!!! I like it though! 🙂

  19. Dhiren Says:

    Ive done this for over 6 minutes at pre season football training beat everyone who was trying it, bout 30 people…that was when i was doing it everyday at home/gym keeping fit….i improved so much….its a great workout! and i proved it at football beating the 30 people there. 😀

  20. crystal cain Says:

    Hello, I’m 16(and a girl) and over the last 2 weeks have went from 3min to 5 min to 10 min planks in 3 days. Then after I hit 10min I added 30 sec each day. I went from 12 30 to 20 minutes today! 20 minutes was my ultimate goal to reach by the end of this next 2 weeks, so I had no idea I was even capable of doing that today. I would recommend anyone looking to improve their time is being mentally strong but also do other excercises to strengthen your shoulders and core. I think honestly the only reason that I can hold a plank for so long is because my upper body is really strong from competitive swimming. Setting small goals is really good too, don’t expect to be able to go from 12min to 20 in one day like I somehow managed today. You have to push yourself and build up. Good luck all!

  21. paul christian Says:

    Hi guys im a 60yr old man have been working out for 2 years.have been working pushups and pullsups and machines weights.did plank for 5minutes 2 nights never say never .BELIEVE IN YOUR SELF YOU CAN DO IT.

  22. jen Says:

    your hawt! ps you look really muscular when you perform this plank. thanks for the pleasure i got in viewng this stunning photograph.

  23. Bonnie Withers Says:

    I’ve seen people doing the plank and adding moves like tapping each foot out to the side and each hand out to the side. I have been doing the one with palms and forerms flat, is that postion harder?

  24. paul christian Says:

    after 2 years of training just started doing the plank.any one fit enough can do it. mental toughness goes a long way .tip get the ipod out of your ears an focus on what your doing,started 3 weeks ago 5 mins first time got 2 20mins last 2 times hope 2 get 2 30mins.good luck 2 u the way i turn 60 in july.Paul

  25. Tina Says:

    You can also start doing variations of the Plank to built your endurance. One variation is to lift up one leg at a time, so your holding your weight on just one leg and your arms. Of course you have to do at least two sets that is one set for each leg up at an equal amount of time.
    Another variation is to hold your plank on the swiss ball. That is position yourself so that the arms are straight on the ball and your legs normally. This also works your balance and you will 100% feel the difference in this plank because its a lot harder.

  26. Great exercise for the arms as well as the core. Don’t worry, I never never thought your t-shirt was a flabby tummy, ha ha. You look fab-u-lous, and that reveals that you are disciplined. Let’s face it, if people want to look good, there needs to be a level of consistency. Well done!

  27. shani Says:

    whenever im doing the plank my triceps kill and I feel like I cant hold it any longer, what excercises should i concentrate on to build up so I can improve my plank? I take body pump religiously.

  28. ninja joe Says:

    Hi all, I’m tryin’ to get a 6 or 8 pack. Is this a good daily workout for this? and can someone indulge me in proper diet for a 6 or 8 pack lol? plz n thank you

  29. Ana Says:

    Hey I want to start working out on my stomach & idk how to start working out , I tried doing the plank workout for a minute , then rest then , minute , then rest, idk of that would help me to get rid of my fat , I don’t usually work out , so it’s really hard, for how long should I plank? Or do other exerciseses? I just want to get rid of my fat:(

    • Finn Says:

      Everyone is asking about losing fat. You need to eat healthy. That’s the way to do it. The Paleo Diet is a good starting point.

  30. vancemomx5 Says:

    I need to do push-ups for a Police Department agility test.I’m a woman and so far can do 5 off my toes…I have til April 2012 what can I do to do better…I’m doing planks about 4 times a week,fly and bench presses…is there anything else I can do to help me do this/

  31. Megatrongirl Says:

    I am only able to do 3-30 sec planks and i feel like ill die!! LOL 🙂

  32. Suresh Says:

    I saw a fitness trainer for the first time in years and asked him to empty my glass of knowledge and fill it with a new one. My specifics were to build a strong core and all over fit body to help me as I age. When it came to core he said there is nothing better than the plank and variations of, including side planks and planks where some limbs are raised. The key is to build that strength from the inside out and these exercises are unbeatable for that, sit ups are superficial and inferior to the plank. Thanks for bringing this exercise up for people to take note!! I currently work on 3 sets at 45 seconds each plank and 2 x side plank looking to increase 5 seconds a week per set. Also if anyone is curious, the squat, deadlift, bench press are also very good compound exercises. Now keep planking people! Support that middle body and feel the strength from deep within every day :-))))))))

  33. Meche Says:

    Will planks help build up bone density on my spine?

  34. debbie Says:

    I am a 46yo old woman, and have introduced planking into my daily exercise plan. I manage to do 2 x 60 second planks, 5 days per week, which kills me, but can someone tell me, do I need to be sucking in my abs, or just holding the position. I do have good form, bum not up etc, but I don’t suck in my abs, that just seems way too hard. Should I ?????

  35. christian Says:

    I am 71 and do a 3 and a half minute good straight plank. looking to get to 5 and then who knows.

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