Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypeStatic
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Lower Back
Target Muscle Group


Abs Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Plank Overview

The plank (AKA hover) is an excellent exercise for building overall core strength. The video above demonstrates the most common plank variation. If you're new to training and do not have the core strength to do a full plank you can start with your knees on the floor and work up to knees off the floor as you get stronger.

You can make the plank harder by raising one foot of the floor. If that's still easy for you, raise one foot off the floor and the opposing hand at the same time. If you're in the gym you can also try weighted planks by adding weight plates to your back for additional resistence. Just make sure you do not let your midsection sag throughout the exercise.

Plank Instructions

  1. The Plank is a stationary exercise that helps strengthen the entire core of the body. Set up for the plank by getting a mat and laying down on your stomach.
  2. To start the exercise prop your torso up on your elbows and your feet up on your toes.
  3. Keeping yourself completely straight, hold this position for as long as possible.
  4. Typically, the plank is done for 3 x 1 minute sets. However, as you get stronger your should be able to do 1 - 3 minutes.

Plank Tips

  1. Do not let your mid section sag in the middle. You need to keep yourself straight at all times.
  2. Do this exercise in front of a mirror to make sure you are not letting your technique slip.
  3. Raise an arm or a leg to increase intensity.
Timothy Rutherford
Posted on: Sat, 06/29/2024 - 16:47


This is a set of three @one minute each or a set of three totaling one minute?



M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 06/30/2024 - 07:57

Answer...That would mean three at one minute each. So, 3 minutes total. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Tue, 06/08/2021 - 17:54

Why are my shoulders hurting after this exercise? Does that mean my midsection is sagging??

Posted on: Tue, 06/08/2021 - 17:53

If my shoulders are feeling a strong burn after doing this exercise, does that mean I am letting my midsection sag?? I am doing it from home so I can't use a mirror to see if I have the right posture.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2021 - 09:40

Hey Dominic - you can use your phone to film yourself doing the exercise to check on your form! Your shoulders are being used during this movement so some shoulder burn can be normal.

Posted on: Wed, 06/09/2021 - 20:19

Okay! Thanks for the tip!

Posted on: Fri, 07/31/2020 - 03:53

it says i should do this for 3 sets 20 seconds. can i just do it for straight 1 minute since i can easily do it straight 1 min?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:23

Great question.

3 sets of 20 seconds is a great beginner place to start. If you can already hold it for 60 seconds, then perform 3 sets of 60 seconds.

Posted on: Wed, 02/26/2020 - 09:02

For the last workout, which is the plank, could I replace the other planks, with leg raise, and crunches if it possible.

Posted on: Sat, 07/27/2013 - 19:52

Who are the idiots that thumbs down the comments ?!? But this looks like a good ab workout ill try it out tonight .

Posted on: Thu, 05/30/2013 - 12:16

is it alright to increase amount of repatitions in between sets or amount of sets being completed between switching the different core exercises

Posted on: Wed, 09/23/2020 - 16:25

Yeah, man. Grow your muscles.

Posted on: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 15:52

im still a teenager, and my abs arent the strongest. however it the lower abs that are completely unnoticable. does this actually give you a 6 pack

Posted on: Sat, 04/27/2013 - 19:56

Yes. Combined with other workout that do involve movement this works like a charm. While this works for all parts of the abs, there are workouts just for lower abs if you wan to improve that.

Posted on: Wed, 09/12/2012 - 12:58

It looks to me as he is keeping a proper curve to his lower back with a neutral alignment to his hips. His pelvis is rotated in any direction as far as I can see.

Posted on: Wed, 09/12/2012 - 03:20

the guy who does the exercise, does it wrong, his back is alomost on the floor...
tight your stomach muscles!!!

jessminder kaur
Posted on: Thu, 08/30/2012 - 22:11

The guy in the video, his midsection is sagging, looks that way.

Posted on: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 11:53

Thank you.

Alan Irvine
Posted on: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 13:11

A good 'firming up' exercise. I have included it as part of all my other workouts and there is a noticeable improvement in the central abs' region. Upto 2.5 minutes each rep' now.

Fitness Works Gym
Posted on: Tue, 04/03/2012 - 00:07

same tips 4 workouts.