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  • Amy Orcutt

Plank Play

Updated: Jan 25

Think that crunches and sit-ups are the best exercises for building core strength and burning calories? Think again. One of the most underrated exercises for developing strength in your core is one of our favorites…Plank Pose, or Phalakasana in Sanskrit.


Plank does so much more than just build core strength though! Check out this list of 7 Benefits of Plank:


1. Strengthens the muscles of your arms and shoulders - Not only does plank strengthen your “abs”, including all 4 muscles groups in the stomach, it strengthens your arms, shoulders, biceps and triceps.


2. Increases muscle definition - When you are in plank pose, you are not only using your core muscles, but so many other ones too! Have you ever heard of an isometric hold? An isometric exercise engages muscles without movement. In plank you are building muscle without moving!


3. Increases metabolism - It’s simple, the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, and the more calories you burn!


4. Reduces back pain - Strengthening your core makes you less prone to back injuries and helps teach your body proper spinal alignment.


5. Gives you better posture - By improving core, chest, shoulder and back strength you have an easier time keeping your shoulders back and your lower back in a neutral position.


6. Improves balance - By holding this pose for a longer period of time, you build stability as a whole which leads to overall balance and coordination.


7. Boosts mood and relieves stress - Any physical activity, including plank pose, increases your endorphins which elevates your feelings of happiness and decreases stress! (Dying to insert the line from Legally Blonde)


Now that you have the 411 on Plank Pose, we challenge you to try some of these plank variations! Remember QUALITY over QUANTITY and when you are ready, add 10 seconds at a time. Here’s to building a stronger core together - have fun playing with Plank!


Want more Plank exercises? Check these out!


  • Shoulder taps - standard plank, alternate tapping opposite shoulder with hand.

  • Leg lifts - standard plank or dolphin plank, alternate lifting each leg/heel toward ceiling.

  • Foot taps to side - standard plank or dolphin plank, bring leg to side, tap toe, back to middle, other side.

  • Hip dips - dolphin plank, dip hips to one side, touch the floor, back to middle, other side.

  • Knee to elbow-square - standard plank, knee to elbow, knee down to wrist, knee to other wrist knee to other elbow, other side.

  • Balancing plank - standard plank, extend one arm forward, extend and hover the opposite leg and hold, other side.

  • Side plank crunches - side plank, bring top arm elbow to top leg knee, extend.

  • Foot taps front/back - standard plank, bring one foot to the outside of same side hand, tap, back to plank, other side.

  • Dolphin plank saw - dolphin plank, press down on elbows, forearms, hands, and toes. Rock forward and backward.


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