Do Planks Really Work? The Truth about Planking

During a plank, there is no way to use added resistance – like you do when lifting weights. This limits muscle strength and potential growth. On the other hand, a good fitness professional can change the difficulty level to make the plank more or less challenging. As you progress, you can try advanced plank variations that require greater balance and strength.

 How Effective Is the Plank, Really?

Just like anything else, planking has pros and cons. The standard version and the side plank strengthen the core muscles, increase muscle endurance, and build awareness of optimal body alignment. These attributes make them ideal for newbies and rehab patients. The downside is that your progress will stall unless you switch to more advanced versions as you get stronger.

When combined with a balanced diet and regular training, the plank can shape your body and build core strength. As your abs become stronger, your mid-section will tighten. This exercise helps you build the foundation for that six-pack look. Over time, it can also improve your flexibility and overall balance. However, planks alone won’t lead to those types of results. To reap their benefits, mix them with other core exercises as part of a regular workout routine. Remember that abs are made in the kitchen, so what you eat can make or break your progress.


Post written by  Andra Picincu  – a certified nutritionist and fitness trainer. She is dedicated to helping others achieve a strong, lean body and improve their health. For custom diet plans and personalized workouts, visit her blog at Shape Your Energy.






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  1. I am by no means an avid trainer…I need to be. I’m easily distracted from my workouts. I started training for a 10K over two months ago…I haven’t ran in over three weeks, possibly longer. But when I did workout with my trainer, the plank was my personal challenge. At the end of every session I would attempt to beat out my last plank’s time. My last plank’s time: 5:18.75 PR. I worked out with my trainer over two weeks ago & even after months of not working out with him, no one has yet to break my record. Planks are hard…my body aches afterwards…but it is very gratifying! Being a 5’2″ chick weighing in @ over 200lbs there’s plenty I need to lose…like 50-65lbs! My plank I never wanna lose! It is the simplest, hardest, yet most gratifying thing for me to do! So I’ma chunky fat plank chick…I don’t have the body by far. I haven’t planked in so long until I dunno if I could even muster a 30 sec hold. I’m not even sure why I’m commenting…I just found this page today. And there maybe plenty of followers who can hold 10+ minute planks…making my PR look like mush. So let me just offer my thanks for your page & your posts. I will continue to follow you…thanks.

  2. Good exercise, but aggresive for the shoulders. It is not for everybody, of course, although seems to be so easy. Isometric exercise is not easy and it is not for beginners, I should say. This is the trouble actually, doing exercises without knowing what, for what and why, whithout knowing the rules.

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