5 Ways to Progress Your Plank

Plank Challenge: How to Improve Your Planks?

1. Start with a Good Base

The first step is to start from the ground up. You need to build your strength and endurance before you can progress further.

If you don’t have any base, then it’s impossible for you to improve your plank technique. A good way of doing this is by using a foam roller or other similar device.

2. Work Your Core

Your core is the foundation of your body. It helps you stabilize your spine and keep you balanced throughout the movement.

Without a strong core, it becomes very difficult to maintain balance during the plank exercise. Therefore, strengthening your core will definitely help you improve your plank technique. One of the best exercises for developing a solid core are crunches and sit ups (see our article on building muscle).

3. Use Plyometric Exercises

Plyometrics are exercises where you perform a series of movements quickly and repeatedly. They’re great for improving your speed and agility.

However, they’re not really suitable for developing a strong core because they require too much energy which can cause fatigue in the muscles and joints. Therefore, plyo-based workouts are better suited for developing a stronger core than their explosive cousins.

4. Utilize the Superman Plank

The superman plank involves extending your body on both the vertical and horizontal plane, just like superman himself. It is more difficult than the normal plank as it involves supporting a greater portion of your bodyweight.

5 Ways to Progress Your Plank - Image

It also helps to strengthen your core and back muscles since you’re not just lying down or sitting on the floor. The superman plank is best done on a soft surface such as a thick rug or a bed mattress.

5. Try the Forearm Side Plank

The side plank is a great way of improving your core strength and balance. It is also done in a seated position with one arm propped up on the floor for support.

By shifting the weight from one side to the other, this allows you to work out different muscles. One of the most challenging variations of this exercise is the forearm side plank. This version is very difficult to do and requires a lot of practice.

The Community Shares Its Wisdom

“The superman plank really helped me overcome my fear of heights. Now, when I have to get up on a stage or speak in front of a large crowd, I don’t feel nauseous like before.” George F.

from the New York community.

“I tried to do the forearm side plank once and I felt my arm was going to be twisted off, it hurt so much. I’ll stick with the regular side plank I think!” Bertha L.

from the Arizona community.

“The superman plank is the best way to improve your core strength and balance. It helps me keep my back pain away.” Melinda H.

5 Ways to Progress Your Plank - Image

from the California community.

Final Thoughts

The plank is one of the best exercises that you can use to improve your core strength, back pain, and overall health. We highly recommend you start practicing it right away!

Don’t be surprised if you struggle at first. Everyone does at some point. Just take it slow and keep practicing. You’ll get there eventually.

Sources & references used in this article:

The new Vienna VLBI Software VieVS by J Böhm, S Böhm, T Nilsson, A Pany, L Plank… – Geodesy for Planet …, 2012 – Springer

Magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications by A Pfeifer, K Zimmermann, C Plank – 2012 – Springer

When the purchasing agent is a committee: Implications for industrial marketing by RG Jennings, RE Plank – Industrial marketing management, 1995 – Elsevier

Emerging geothermometers for estimating slab surface temperatures by T Plank, LB Cooper, CE Manning – Nature Geoscience, 2009 – nature.com

Tumour-induced angiogenesis: a review by MJ Plank, BD Sleeman – Journal of Theoretical Medicine, 2003 – Taylor & Francis