Balancing Your Body and Mind

22 Plank Exercises to Challenge Your Abs, Core & Upper Body Muscles

Alright folks, Zach here. You’ve probably felt the intense burn of a timed plank. You also might hate how monotonous they are, but it’s extremely effective for building a strong core and abs if done correctly.

So – here’s 22 plank stability variations that you’ll love to hate.

1. Standard plank

The standard plank works the fast twitch muscles of the core, allowing you to develop your ability to stabilize.

2. Under arm plank

Throw in a reverse fly to hit the obliques, triceps, and inner back

3. Unilateral arm plank

Want to strengthen those pecs? try using one arm at a time for stabilization in the Unilateral arm plank.

4. Elevated arm plank

This method is good for transferring more stress onto your upper chest.

5. Side plank

Not an especially new method, but excellent for building up your side abs. never forget your side abs.

6. Alternating side plank

Now that you’ve got the side plank down, try alternating sides to strengthen more of your chest, back and shoulders.

7. Bridge plank

Lets not forget strengthening the lower back and glute muscles.

8. Superman plank

Another great stability exercise for strengthening muscles all across your back and glutes. butt muscles, that is.

9. Crocodile plank

This one is great for transferring the challenge to your triceps.

10. Twisting plank

A lot like the standard plank, this grounded twisting allows you to tear into your external obliques, popularly known as your side abs.

11. Unilateral hip plank

A cool way of building strength specifically in your hips, obliques, glutes. Make sure to get both sides.

12. Horse plank (extended/weighted)

Definitely different from your average plank, but perfect for targeting your lower back, thighs, and shoulders. If you want more of a challenge, grab a manageable weight and stabilize it in front of your body.

13. Twisting hip flexion plank

Another variation of our unilateral hip plank. Use this if you want to get more of a burn in your obliques.

14. Bird dog plank

And of course, The bird dog. This can be done with bent legs or with extended legs for more of a challenge. This specifically targets your shoulders and your glutes, not to mention its a decent test in balance.

15. Unilateral bird dog

If the bird dog doesn’t quite do it, try the unilateral variation. Balancing both limbs on the same side is plenty to work on.

16. Streamline lunge plank

Another great way to access the thighs, while simultaneously stabilizing your shoulders and trunk

17. Vertical plank

After training the standard plank all this time, why not test your mettle with a vertical plank. This will strengthen pretty much everything from your hips to your shoulders, provided you can avoided shifting too far from one side to the other.

18. Streamline pigeon plank

Provided you can manage the flexibility aspect, this plank will become an essential for stretching and strengthening your hips, glutes and trunk.

19. Crane

Purely an upper body plank, this yoga pose is a challenging way of building the stabilizer muscles in your chest, shoulders and core.

20. Side crane

A variation of the standard crane pose, this form allows you to hit more of the obliques and back muscles. Make sure you spend an equal amount of time on both sides.

21. One legged peacock

A more advanced form of the crane pose, designed to access the lower half of the body as well as the upper half. Again, make sure you tackle both legs.

22. Stride plank

Finally the stride pose. similar to the side crane, one hip remains extended while the other reaches out to the side. Needless to say, you’ll need a set on both sides to make sure both halves of your body get equal punishment.


There you have it! 22 of many fun and progressively challenging plank exercises that will help you master your ability to balance. Thanks for watching, and for more videos like this one, subscribe and feel free to comment if you have any questions or requests for new routines.

Stay vital,