The term “core” generally refers to your abs, lower back and obliques. When holding a plank, you engage all of these muscles.
The Basic Front Plank
The standard push-up position is the most simple type of plank. Make sure to keep a straight line from the top of your head to the heels of your feet; don’t let your hips drop or your butt go up in the air.
A slightly harder variation involves supporting your upper body on your elbows instead of your hands. For the beginner, a nice core challenge is to try alternating between the basic plank and the elbow plank. Make sure to keep your hips steady and stay on your toes.
One Arm/One Leg Plank
Once you’re comfortable with the elbow plank, you can add a new challenge by taking one arm or one leg out of the equation. Eventually you can try a plank on one arm and one leg; the fewer limbs you have on the ground the more you’ll need to use your core.
Side planks put more emphasis on your obliques (the muscles on your sides) than on your abs (though they still get worked!). Just like a front plank, you can perform a side plank on your palm or your elbow, and with one or two legs. Transitioning from a front plank to a side plank and back is another fun challenge.
Planks are often held isometrically (in a fixed position) for a given length of time. Try to build up to a minute with the simpler variations before progressing. One you’ve mastered the plank, you should consider training to do a planche.
Watch the video below for more: