Do you want to burn calories, tone your core, and improve balance without equipment? Then Plank walks is the perfect option for you.
Why plank walk is so important? This unique bodyweight exercise builds core stability in your abdominals, obliques, lower back, and beyond.
Unlike stationary planks, plank walks require you to engage your core dynamically as you walk your hands out and in from a standing position. When you’re in a constant state of tension, you burn calories and also work your entire core instead of just your front abs.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the Plank Walk, its benefits, how to do it, variations, tips for success, and a workout routine.
What Is Plank Walk
A plank walk also known as walking plank is a dynamic variation of the traditional plank exercise. It involves moving from a high plank position to a low plank position and back again, while maintaining a straight line.
Plank walks are a great exercise for people of all fitness levels. You can build core strength, stability and endurance with them.
They are a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere. Additionally, plank walks are a great way to complement your regular workout routine.
Muscle Worked During Plank Walk
The plank walk is a compound exercise, meaning it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This makes it a highly effective workout that targets both the upper and the lower body.
- Rectus Abdominis: This is your “six-pack” muscle. It is engaged to keep your body in a straight line.
- Obliques: help with rotational stability and lateral movement.
- Transverse Abdominis: This is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and acts like a corset. It helps stabilize your core by pulling your belly in.
Upper Body Muscles
- Shoulder and arm muscles: Plank Walk targets the shoulder and arm muscles, including the deltoids, biceps, and triceps. These muscles are responsible for supporting the upper body and assisting in the movement.
- Serratus Anterior: This muscle helps with the stability of your shoulder blades.
- Latissimus Dorsi: They engaged during the walking phase to stabilize your torso.
- Rhomboids and Trapezius: They are engaged to keep your back straight and shoulders in place.
Lower Body Muscles
- Glutes: engaged to keep your hips level and to assist in the walking movement.
- Quadriceps: help in keeping your legs straight and lifting your feet off the ground.
- Hamstrings: they assist the quadriceps in leg movement.
- Calves, Feet, and Ankle muscles: While not primary movers in the plank walk, these muscles contribute to maintaining balance and stability.
How To Do Plank Walk
- Start in a low plank position with your forearms on the ground.
- Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Your feet should be hip-width apart, with your weight supported on your toes.
- Shift your weight onto your left hand as you step your right hand forward.
- Shift your weight to your right hand and step your left hand forward to meet your right. You should know in a high plank position.
- Start by stepping your left hand back to its original position, followed by your right hand.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps or time. Do 3-4 Sets
- Take a 30-second to 1-minute break between sets.
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Walking Plank Tips for Proper Form
When you’re first starting out, it can be helpful to focus on proper form and technique.
- Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
- Keep your glutes and core muscles contracted.
- Place your hands directly under your shoulders. This helps to evenly distribute weight.
- If you’re new to Plank Walk, start with a basic plank exercise to build strength and proper form
- Move your hands smoothly to keep them stable and avoid sudden movements.
- Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck. Keep your gaze down at the floor.
- For the beginners, try holding the plank position for 10-20 seconds. Over time, work up to 30, 45, or 60 seconds.
- Don’t focus too much on the stopwatch, quality trumps the quantity. When your form begins to suffer, it is time to give up.
- Although it’s important to concentrate on perfect form, don’t forget to breathe, as lack of oxygen can cause dizziness or nausea.
Advanced Variations and Modifications
After mastering the fundamental plank walk, it may be worthwhile to experiment with more advanced variations or adapt the exercise to better suit your requirements.
- Plank Walk with Push-Up: Perform a push-up each time you return to the plank position. This engages your chest and triceps more intensively.
- Plank Walk to Side Plank: Add a side plank rotation after each plank walk. This enhances oblique engagement and enhances your balance and coordination.
- Weighted Plank Walk: Use a weighted vest to increase resistance.
- Plank Walk with Leg Lift: Incorporate a leg lift at the end of each walk to engage the glutes and lower back.
- Plank Walk with Mountain Climbers: Add a set of mountain climbers every time you return to the plank position to increase the cardiovascular component.
- Knee Plank Walk: If you find the traditional plank walk challenging. Try doing a knees plank walk to make your core and upper body work less.
- Slow Tempo: Slowing down each movement can help build endurance and give you more time to focus on form.
- Reduced Range of Motion: If full-length steps are too difficult, take smaller steps to make the exercise more manageable.
Benefits of Walking Plank
- Enhances stability and strength in the abdominal and oblique muscles.
- Challenges and boosts balance and coordination skills.
- Promotes shoulder, wrist, and ankle mobility.
- Strengthens muscles that help maintain an upright posture.
- Improves core strength and stability.
- Engages multiple muscle groups, including the upper and lower body.
- Enhances posture and reduces back pain.
- Increases isometric strength in core muscles.
- Improves balance and range of motion.
- Requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.
- Boosts mood and mental health
Plank Walk Alternatives
Plank walks offer a fantastic blend of strength and stability challenges, but there are several other exercises that can target similar muscle groups with varying intensities and benefits.
- Plank toe touches
- Bicycle crunches
- Bear Crawls
- Hanging leg raises
- Side Plank
- Bird Dog
Including these alternatives into your workout routine can break up the monotony and boost muscle engagement and flexibility.
Plank walks are a dynamic full-body workout that harnesses the strength of various muscle groups, with a spotlight on enhancing core stability.
With Plank Walk, you can improve your core strength and stability, enhance posture, increase isometric strength, and improve balance.
Give plank walks a try, and you will see the improvement in your strength and stability.
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.