Plank exercises, while a sometimes grueling and everlasting 30 seconds, have unparalleled benefits. Aside from strengthening the core, planks increase flexibility, build shoulder and arm muscles, improve posture and provide tension and stress relief. So before you dismiss the torturous workout, try your hand in these plank variations, which are sure to provide a core challenge.

  1. Tap:
    Lifting up in plank position, tap each foot out and in (30 reps)
  2. In and Out:
    Step your right hand and left hand out. Then step each in (20 reps)
  3. Leg Lift:
    Lift one leg (keep it in line with your back)
  4. Ball Plank:
    Elbows on balance ball, make sure your chest is lifted.
  5. Advance Ball Plank:
    Push the ball out and in (20 reps)
  6. Advance Ball Plank 2:
    Draw circles clockwise and counterclockwise (10 reps each direction)
  7. Advance Balance:
    Lift one leg up and reach your opposite arm out.
  8. Spider:
    Lift your knee sideways to your hip (20 reps)
    Spider Plank
  9. Side Plank:
    Lie on your side with your feet stacked. Straighten your bottom arm and reach your top arm up to the ceiling
  10. Advanced Side Plank:
    Staying lifted, use the arm that’s reaching toward the ceiling and thread the space in between the floor and your body, then lift back up (20 reps)
  11. Bended Leg Plank:
    Bend your leg up so the bottom of your sole faces the ceiling. Take that leg over the leg on the ground and tap the opposite side of the floor (20 reps)
  12. Side Plank Leg Lift:
    First stack both legs on top of one another and lift up. With one arm reaching in the air, lift your top leg up as well.
    Side Plank Leg Lift

A common mistake in planks is form. Make sure your glutes are in line with your back at all times. No higher and no lower.

Do you plank? If the answer is yes, what is your favorite plank move? If the answer is no, will you try any of these plank exercises?

Guest Author: Fareeha Ali
Spider Plank Picture: RaquelFitness.com
Side Plank Leg Lift Picture: FitSugar.com