Beginner Plank Progressions

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Before you dive in to these beginner plank progressions, make sure you’ve mastered the basic planks. Ready? Awesome!

It’s a great feeling to master the basic plank. Holding it for 60 seconds feels like no big deal and you’re ready for a challenge! Before we move on to intermediate core work, try these progressions to the basic planks I shared before.

Beginner plank progressions

Incline Plank with Floor Taps

beginner plank progressions incline with tap

So you’ve mastered the incline plank and it isn’t feeling all that difficult? Let’s throw in some anti-rotation! While in the standard incline plank position on your elbows, tap the floor with one hand and then return to the starting position. Alternate the floor taps while keeping your hips steady (don’t let your hips rotate side to side as you shift your weight).

High Plank with Shoulder Taps

beginner plank progressions high plank shoulder taps

Using the same anti-rotation principles as the incline plank with floor taps, move on the these plank shoulder taps when you’re seeking more of a challenge. From the high plank position, bring your right hand off the floor and tap your left shoulder. Return your hand to the floor with control and repeat on the other side. As with the plank floor taps, avoid rotating your hips by keeping your abs engaged.

Low Plank Reaches

low plank reaches

Yet another anti-rotation variation on the plank, this time building on our low plank. While in low plank position with your spine in alignment, extend your right hand out as far as you can then slowly return to low plank position. Repeat with your left hand. Avoid rotating your hips and don’t forget to breathe!

Side Plank with Arm Raise

side plank arm raise

Want to add a little bit more of a challenge to your side plank? Throw off your balance just slightly by raising your arm toward the ceiling. I’m no good at physics so I can’t tell you why it happens, but doing this makes you just a little more wobbly. Want an extra challenge? Next we’ll work on raising your top leg!

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6 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I just held a plank for 2 minutes today after probably a good three months of no plank work, and it was SO hard! Thos plank shoulder taps are no joke either. Definitely need to get back into a regular plank routine!


    1. // Reply

      Woo hoo! Yeah, getting back into a regular routine can be tough because it’s so discouraging at first. Props to you though, I’m sure you can do it! 🙂


    1. // Reply

      It may be weird, but you’re in good company here. 🙂 Planks are my fave!

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