Are low planks better than high planks?

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: low planks. 

You probably didn’t think planks could harder than the five-minute-hold challenge. But for a deeper (and arguably more useful) burn, try taking the plank into a low position.

When your forearms are planted on the ground, your abdominals are challenged even more than in a high plank when your arms can take on some of your body weight. So here’s how to do the sure-fire core burner. 

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What is a low plank?

A low plank position is the same as a high plank, only with your forearms planted on the mat rather than your hands. 

This exercise is great because it:

It challenges the deep core: the arms take on less weight, so the abdominals have to work harder to stabilise the body. 

It can reduce pain: by stabilising the core and the spine. 

It can be done anywhere: add it to a home ab circuit or to the end of your weight lifting sessions. 

What muscles are worked in low plank?

It’s a core-focused exercise that works: 

  • Rectus abdominals
  • Transverse abdominals 
  • Obliques 
  • Erector spinae 
  • Pecs
  • Delts 

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How to do low plank

  1. Begin in a table top position with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. 
  2. Lower your forearms to the floor, clasping your hands together directly under your face while your elbows are stacked beneath your shoulders. 
  3. Engage the core by pulling your belly button to your spine and kick the feet straight back behind you to come into the plank position.
  4. Ensure your back is flat and your hips aren’t pushing up to the sky or sinking down to the ground. 
  5. Hold the position for 30 seconds. 

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Images: Stylist

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