Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations

Exercise plank is an excellent way to strengthen not only the abs, but the entire muscle corset, increase strength and endurance of muscles, make the silhouette fit and improve well-being. The bar has dozens of variations that vary in degree of difficulty, however, all of them are performed on the basis of basic technology. Exercise is used in fitness, yoga, Pilates and various wellness practices. Let's look at which muscles work in this exercise, how to perform it correctly and which results.

Work of muscles

The main muscle groups that support the body in a straightened position during the execution of the bar are the press and the back.

In addition, the muscles of the chest, shoulders, front surface of the thighs and buttocks are included in the work. In other words, the distribution of load on the muscles when performing the classical version of the exercise (standing at the elbows) is as follows:

  • Press, especially the rectus abdominis. The main load falls on the press - the abdominal muscles do not allow the body to sag down under the influence of gravity.
  • The muscles of the back, especially its lower part. Support the body in a straightened position, tighten the ribs, pull your arms to the body, allowing you to stabilize the angle between the body and shoulders.

  • Large pectoral and deltoid muscles. These muscles allow you to stay in your shoulders without sagging down.
  • Gluteus maximus muscles, quadriceps, calf muscles. These muscles provide an even position of the legs and pelvis.

Looking at the list above, we can safely say that the bar trains almost all the muscles of the body.

Variations of this exercise allow you to increase the load or shift its emphasis to certain muscle groups.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations

The classic plank exercise (sometimes also called the “board”) refers to isometric. This means that if you do it correctly, movement in the joints does not occur, i.e. the posture remains static.

However, there are dynamic options, including body turns, raising and lowering arms or legs.

Use of the bar

The bar does not apply to exercises designed to inflate cubes on the stomach. Its benefit lies in the integrated strengthening of the entire muscle corset. The volume of muscles during its performance does not grow, but the muscles come in tone, their strength and endurance increase.

The use of the bar exercise is as follows:

  • There is a strengthening, development of strength and endurance of a large number of muscle groups (press, back, legs, chest, shoulders).

  • The stomach is tightened, the waist becomes narrower, the friability of the silhouette leaves, which is very useful in the process of losing weight.
  • The position of the lower spine is stabilized. In this paragraph, it is worth mentioning that if there are diseases or injuries of the spine, you should consult your doctor before performing the exercise. Sometimes, an increase in the tone of the muscles surrounding the damaged area may be contraindicated.
  • A skill is developed to keep the body straight.

    This will significantly help you both in everyday life and when you will do other fitness exercises, such as squats.

In addition to the above, it can be noted that for training you will not need any additional equipment. You can do it at home, in the hall or anywhere.

Whether the bar helps to lose weight

The effectiveness of the bar for weight loss, like any other exercise, is measured by how much energy you spend on its implementation. In other words, it is not worth considering it as a magical tool that will help you lose weight.

Dynamic variations of this exercise consume more calories than static ones.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Regular execution of the bars, along with the diet, helps to get more pronounced results in the process of losing weight.

In general, you can create an entire workout exclusively from the bars. However, this monotony will quickly tire you. Therefore, it will be right to combine the bar with other physical exercises.

The effect of losing weight will appear if you spend more energy than you get with food.

Visually, the bar helps to make the figure more slender by toning the muscles of the abdomen and sides. In principle, this gives a good help to start losing weight.

How to do the exercise

There are essentially two classical options for the exercise:

  • with emphasis on straight arms;
  • in focus on the elbows.

Doing the exercise on straight arms is easier than on the elbows.

This is because in this case, most of the weight of your body falls on the legs, which is quite usual, the load on the upper body is less and it is easier to keep the body position. When you fall on your elbows, the distribution of weight between the fulcrum changes. You have to make much greater efforts to maintain the body in an even position.

Technique of the bar on straight arms:

  1. Accept the palm rest position. Put your brushes exactly under your shoulders.

    Your whole body should be in a completely straight line. That is, you keep your back straight, not bending in the lower back (the pelvis is slightly twisted), the legs are in line with the back - the buttocks do not rise up, the stomach does not sag down (the press is tense). Pay special attention to the position of the shoulders and neck. The chest should not sag between the shoulders. The neck is a continuation of the back, the gaze is directed to the floor, you do not need to raise your head.

    The legs are straightened at the knees, you rest on your fingers.

  2. Stay in a static position for as long as you can. Continue to stand until the technique breaks down due to muscle fatigue. The fact that muscles begin to tremble in the last seconds is normal. As soon as you feel that you are no longer able to maintain the pose correctly - go down to the floor, rest a bit and repeat the exercise 1-2 more times.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Technique of execution on straight arms.

As for the width of the stop, it does not have key significance. The wider the legs are apart, the easier it is to do the exercise. Feet together is a complicated option.

Technique of the exercise with emphasis on the elbows:

  1. The initial position is the same as in the previous version, only you put your hands not on the palm, but on the forearm.

    The elbows are located strictly under the shoulders, the body, neck and legs are in one line. Make sure that there is no deflection in the lower back, the buttocks do not rise, and the stomach does not sag.

  2. Keep in this position for as long as possible. Repeat the approach 1-2 times.
Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Technique of execution with emphasis on elbows.

Many students have a question: how much time does the bar need to be kept and how often should this exercise be done?

If the option of holding the bar is “as long as possible” It seems too vague for you, start with 30 seconds. After you have mastered holding the posture for 30 seconds in three sets - increase the time by 10 seconds and hold on for 40. So, gradually strive to achieve three minutes in one set. If you have reached a good level of fitness, begin to master the sophisticated exercise options.

The bar can be done as often as your time and desire allow.

It is great for completing your abs workout or full body workout. You can do this exercise separately at any time whenever possible.

Next, we consider the most popular variations of the classic types of slats that will increase the load, make it more diverse and increase the effectiveness of training.

10 variations of the slats

What’s called, to complicate your life, there are two ways:

  1. By reducing the number of support points (raising your arm or leg).
  2. By adding dynamics (pushing up with hands or crossing legs or doing twisting).

You can diversify the received load by changing the position of the body, that is, by executing:

  • side strips;
  • reverse strips.

Let's look at how to correctly perform all these options in order to get the maximum effect from training.

Raise your hands

This option exercises will increase the load on the muscles of the core and upper body, in particular, on the shoulders. In addition, small muscles stabilizers responsible for maintaining balance are included in the work.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Three-point bearing - arm extended forward.

  1. Take the pose of the classic bar on outstretched arms (simpler) or on the elbows (harder). Transfer body weight on one arm, and tear the other off the floor and pull forward. Lock yourself in this position and try to hold it as much as you can.
  2. Lower your hand, then repeat the movement with the other hand.

Raise the legs

Here the additional load falls on the gluteus muscle and the back of the thigh.

The muscles also stabilize the body.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Raising the leg gives a load on the gluteal muscles.
  1. Stand on the bar with your elbows or in straight arms. Maintaining a stable lumbar position, tear your straight leg off the floor and lift it up. Lock in this position.

    Raising the legs is performed without jerk, controlled movement.

  2. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Two-point support

This exercise is a synergy of the two previous ones. You hold the support at only two points - this is the level of the pros.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Reliance on two points requires good coordination of movements.

  1. Accept the classic plank pose. Stretch your straight arm forward and raise the opposite leg. It is difficult enough to maintain balance in this position, therefore it will require from you not only physical preparation, but also mental concentration.
  2. Sit down on the floor, change your leg and arm and repeat the movement.

Plank with push-ups

Performing the plank exercise in this way adds dynamic work to the exercise.

The load on the pectoral muscles and triceps increases.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
The complication of the exercise by adding push-ups.
  1. Take the plank position on straight arms, lock yourself.
  2. Without changing the direct position of the case, lower yourself with one hand on the elbow. Then do the same with the other hand.

    So, you are already standing in the bar with emphasis on the elbows.

  3. Now you need to rise back into straight arms. That is, successively push up with each hand. Straighten the hand that you bent first, then put it on the palm of your hand and straighten the other hand.
  4. Repeat the exercise as much as you can.

Legs together - legs to the sides

This kind of abs bar gives an extra load on the gluteal muscles.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Alternately set the legs aside and return to the midline.
  1. Stand up on your elbows or on straight arms, depending on your level of training. Put your legs together.
  2. Step with one foot to the side.

    Take a step to the side with the other foot. Put the first leg back in place. Substitute her second leg. During the "walk" control the position of the lower back.

  3. Repeat the exercise.

With twisting

Another dynamic variation that makes oblique muscles of the stomach work hard.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Add body twisting to the exercise.
  1. Accept the emphasis on straight arms.
  2. Tear one arm off the floor and lift it up by twisting the body. Both legs remain on the floor, but the shoulders change their position from horizontal to vertical.

    The arm is extended vertically, the gaze is directed to the side.

  3. Lower your hand and return your shoulders to a horizontal position, but instead of putting your palm on the floor - pass your hand under the body and stretch in the opposite direction.
  4. Again, raise your hand and lower it, reaching for the opposite side.

Knees to the shoulders

This version of the exercise is performed as follows:

  1. Accept the emphasis on the elbows or palms.
  2. Through the side, pull the knee to the shoulder of the same name.

  3. Put your foot back in place. Repeat movement with the other knee.
Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
The knee is led to the shoulder across the side.

Side bar

The side bar allows you to create a static load on the oblique muscles of the abdomen.

  1. Stand on the classic bar.

    Turn the case sideways by lifting one hand vertically up. The legs can be placed cross-wise one after another or the leg located at the bottom to be placed on the outside of the foot, and the second to be placed on top of it (this option is more difficult, since there are fewer support points). Your legs, pelvis, back, neck and head should be in one straight line.

  2. Lock the position and try to keep it as long as possible. Then, switch sides.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
The side bar trains the oblique muscles of the abdomen.

This exercise option can be complicated. To do this, the leg, which was on top, should be raised up. The side bar requires perfect balance control and trains balance well.

Back plate

This is the last kind of strips in our collection.

All the basic principles of the exercise, such as a completely straight body, remain valid. Only the position of the housing changes.

  1. You need to stand on the bar with your stomach up. To do this, sit on your buttocks and lean on your hands behind. Pull straight legs in front of you.

  2. Transferring body weight to your hands, lift your buttocks and stretch the string. The gaze is directed upwards. The neck and spine are straight. This is the reverse bar.
  3. Lock in this position.

    Get down on the floor.

Exercise Plank - Classic Technique and 10 Variations
Running backward bar.

As a complication, you can alternately raise your legs up.

So, we figured out how to make the classic bar correctly, and also listed 10 of its variations that can improve training efficiency, diversify the load and work out almost all major muscle groups .

Beginners are recommended to start with the basic version of the exercise, gradually mastering more complex options.

Thus, you will strengthen your muscles, tone your body, become stronger and more resilient, and will also be able to improve your results in other exercises.

As for weight loss, the bar can be a good help in this process, but one of its implementation will not be enough. In order to get a powerful fat-burning effect, you need to intensively engage in physical exercises and eat right.



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