Beginner Plank Workout

About a month ago, I created a feedback survey for all F&F readers to take in honor of my two-year blogiversary.  One of the main pieces of feedback I received was that you guys simply want more of everything – which is great!  More recipes, more awkward moments, more workouts, etc.  But something several people said was that they’d love to see more beginner workouts and tips for non-fitness enthusiasts to get you more motivated.  That being said, I thought I’d put together a little beginner’s plank workout for you guys.

Even if you’ve never planked a day in your entire life, this is a great place to get started!

Beginner Plank Workout

You’ll notice that this workout only has two exercises in it, regular elbow planks and side planks.

Here’s a breakdown of how to do the workout:

  • Minute 0-1 –> Elbow Plank:  Hold your elbow plank for as long as you can.  Note how many seconds you can hold for, then rest for the remainder of that minute.
  • Minute 1-2 –> Side Plank:  Flip into your side plank on the right side, and hold for as long as you can.  Note how many seconds you can hold for, then rest for the remainder of that minute.
  • Minute 2-3 –> Elbow Plank:  Return to holding your elbow plank for as long as you can.  Note how many seconds you can hold for, then rest for the remainder of that minute.
  • Minute 3-4 –> Side Plank:  Flip into your side plank on the left side, and hold for as long as you can.  Note how many seconds you can hold for, then rest for the remainder of that minute.
  • Minute 4-5 –> Elbow Plank:  Return to holding your elbow plank for as long as you can.  Note how many seconds you can hold for, then rest for the remainder of that minute.

Here are some “how to’s” and form pointers:

For your regular plank, you can keep your knees down on the ground as I am doing in the picture above.  If you’ve never planked before, I recommend starting there.  If that seems too, easy then I recommend lifting your knees off the ground and holding a regular plank.

**Note:  If you can hit a minute mark on your knees without resting, then it’s definitely time to raise those knees off the ground and hold a regular plank.

Elbow Plank

Form pointers:  Butts down, abs up!  You want your body to form a straight line.  You also want to avoid dropping your head and looking at your feet – make sure to keep your neck in line with your spine.

For side plank, you also have two options.

Modified version with knee down…

Modified side plank

Or regular side plank without the knee, and instead balancing with both feet out.  One foot lifted like in the picture below is an advanced option, so feet stacked is just fine for your beginner efforts.  No matter which version you choose,  make sure you keep your bottom hip lifted.  You want to feel your obliques working – don’t let those hips drop.

Side Planks

The beauty of this workout is that it only takes five minutes out of your 24 hour day, so there’s really no excuse to not do it.  I recommend doing these planks first thing in the morning, after a walk, while you are watching TV, or before bed.  Another great thing about this beginner workout is that even if you can only hold your plank for ten seconds, that’s okay!  Hold for ten seconds, then rest for 50 seconds before moving on.  The second time you do this workout, shoot for 15 seconds.  Once you’ve mastered the modified version, repeat with your knees off the ground.

You can only get better, and you can only get stronger!

You just have to start somewhere.  So why not start today?

Does anyone have any tips for my beginner plankers?!

Advanced fitness friends — you can turn this workout into a five-minute plank workout of your own.  Try to hold each exercise for the duration of the minute, and transition into each without ever coming out of your planks.

**For ALL F&F readers — if you try this workout, I want to hear about it!  Why not brag about your accomplishments, especially if you are trying something new and challenging yourself?  Let’s motivate each other! Tweet or share on Facebook or Instagram this week using #StartSomewhere. 

Happy planking! :)

About these ads

12 thoughts on “Beginner Plank Workout

  1. I think it’s great to post beginner workouts! I think us fitness enthusiasts and instructors tend to post the workouts that kill us, but we have to remember that that can be intimidating for people who are just starting out! Thanks for that reminder:)

    • Yes! It was one of the biggest pieces of feedback I got on my blog survey. And my co-workers at work have been asking for more beginner options. I did my advanced version of this though the other night, and my abs were shaking!

  2. Pingback: Erica’s Visit + Weekly Workouts | Fitness & Feta

  3. Pingback: Extended Side Plank |

  4. can side planks be done on the elbow/forearm? I cannot do anything that requires weight on my wrists like shown in your photos. thanks!

  5. Pingback: Best of F&F in 2013 | Fitness & Feta

I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s