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Take our FREE 1 Minute Quiz to find out EXACTLY what Diet & Training is Best for You.

Planks …  you are either on board (no pun intended) and do them frequently or avoid them at all costs! 

Love them or hate them, most people do them from time to time, the question we hope to answer today is ….

Are basic plank holds effective at sculpting your mid-section?! 

A while back, we filmed a youtube video where we mentioned that planking is a pretty bad ab exercise. 

We think that was a little confusing for some people and would like to clarify what we meant.

Basic plank holds CAN be a great exercise. When done correctly, a plank activates way more muscles than a standard crunch.

But whether or not doing them is beneficial at improving YOUR core depends on a few key factors:

  • If you are planking correctly. 
  • What style of plank you are doing. 
  • Your fitness level (how long can you hold without breaking form.)

If you plank with bad form, it will do NOTHING. No matter your fitness level or the plank variation — you are wasting your time and could actually hurt your back. 

Even if your form is perfect, there are still some cases where plank holds may not be a great ab exercise. 

One of those being —  if you can easily hold a plank for more than 1-minute.

If you can do that, you probably need to consider doing a different ab workout or perform advanced plank variations that are more challenging.

To help you out, we have a 5 Minute Plank Ab Workout for you to try! You will still perform a basic plank hold in this workout, but it will be for your rest periods!

If you can hold a plank for 60-seconds, then you have advanced to the point that a basic plank now becomes your “active” rest! 

These movements are advanced but still don’t require any equipment. You only need a small space on the floor and a timer. 

You don’t even need a timer if you choose to follow along with us!  Just find a small space on the floor and hit play on the video below! 

NOTE: If you are new to working out or have a weak core, this workout isn’t for you. We have plenty of beginner ab workouts on our YouTube channel that you should attempt and perfect before you try this one. But if you can hold a plank for one minute … swap out your basic planks for this workout instead! 

(No Equipment Needed)


This workout is challenging! After all, it is 5 minutes of planking without any rest!

But it’s not as bad as it sounds because you will be changing plank variations every 30 seconds .. which keeps things moving! 

Start a timer for 5 minutes (or just follow along with us HERE.) ⬇️



You will hold each plank exercise listed below for 30 seconds, immediately followed by a basic plank for 30 seconds.

Technically you will NOT be resting. Your “rest” is a basic plank performed between each advanced plank. 

This means you will be planking a total of 5 minutes, with no rest. So if at any time you need to take a breather, go ahead! Just try to minimize it to a few seconds! 

30 seconds of the advanced plank listed below.
30 seconds of a basic plank hold ( “active rest”) between each advanced plank.
Perform one round with no rest – and you are done!
Set a timer and do it alone or follow along with us HERE!

Plank Variation 1: Spiderman Planks
Active Rest – Basic Plank Hold

Plank Variation 2: Pike Raise Planks
Active Rest – Basic Plank Hold

Plank Variation 3: Plank Hip Dips
Active Rest – Basic Plank Hold

Plank Variation 4: Plank Jacks
Active Rest – Basic Plank Hold

Plank Variation 5: Plank Shoulder Taps
Active Rest – Basic Plank Hold

Give this a go in place of basic planking!

If you want to SEE your abs, doing ab workouts like this is only part of what you need to do. 

Ab training is important for building core stability and strength, but if you want your abs to actually show —  you have to get rid of any excess fat covering them!

You can only do that by lowering your overall body fat!  Yes, overall, because you cannot spot reduce belly fat!!

If you want help getting rid of that layer of fat, you should check out our FREE BODY TYPE QUIZ

Anyone can take it, and it’s only 6 short questions! You will instantly be told your body type (based on your answers) — and be given some tips on the best way to eat and exercise so you can get rid of body fat faster and easier!

CLICK HERE to take it! Again, it’s totally FREE, and your results are INSTANT!