Plank (exercise)

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Recruit performing a plank at a US Coast Guard training

The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.


The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. Many variations exist such as the side plank and the reverse plank.[1][2] The plank is commonly practiced in pilates and yoga, and by those training for boxing and other sports.[3][4][5]

The "Extended Plank" adds substantial difficulty to the standard plank exercise. To perform the extended plank, a person begins in the push-up position and reaches their arms/hands as far forward as possible.[6]


The plank strengthens the abdominals, back, and shoulders. Muscles involved in the front plank include:

Muscles involved in the side plank include:

World Record[edit]

The world record for a front plank, resting on elbows, was set by Chinese policeman Mao Weidong, who formerly held the record and regained it by planking for 8 hours, 1 minute and 1 second in May 2016.[7]

The previous record was set by former Marine officer and retired Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent George Hood with a time of 5 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds in April 2016.[8]

The longest time in an elbow plank :

  • by a woman is 3 hours, 31 minutes and 0 seconds by Maria Kalimera (Cyprus) in September 2015.[9]
  • by a woman with a 60-lb pack is 17 min and 26 sec by Eva Bulzomi (USA) in July 2013.[10]
  • with a 100-lb pack is 4 min 41 sec by Paddy Doyle (UK) in 2016.[11]
  • with a 200-lb pack is 3 min 8 sec by Sverre Diesen (Norway) in June 2016.[12]

The longest single arm plank while balancing on medicine balls is 47.54 seconds, by William Borger (Canada) on October 2016.[13]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Knack Weight Training for Women: Step-by-Step Exercises for Weight Loss, Leah Garcia, p. 57. Quote:"Plank variations are abundant, and small changes increase the intensity of the exercise."
  2. ^ Weight Training for Dummies, Liz Neporent, Suzanne Schlosberg, Shirley J. Archer, p. 263.
  3. ^ Core Strength For Dummies, LaReine Chabut. Quote:"It's used in all yoga sun salutations and other poses. It is also a Pilates-based exercise used in many of Joseph Pilates exercises..."
  4. ^ Pocket Guide to Fitness, Louiza Patsis, p. 176. Quote:"The "plank exercise" is used in Pilates classes."
  5. ^ Kettlebells for Dummies, Sarah Lurie, p.260. Quote:"If you've done other exercises like yoga or Pilates before, you may be familiar with the plank position already."
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Former Marine Officer Breaks World Record Plank to Benefit Semper Fi Fund, Monica Garske.
  9. ^ "Longest time in an abdominal plank position (female)". Guinness World Records. 
  10. ^ "Longest time in an abdominal plank position with a 60-lb pack (female)". Guinness World Records. 
  11. ^ "Watch 'World's Fittest Man' Paddy Doyle reclaim record for longest plank while carrying a 100-lb pack". Guinness World Records. 
  12. ^ "Longest time in an abdominal plank position with a 200-lb pack". Guinness World Records. 
  13. ^ "Longest single arm plank while balancing on medicine balls". Guinness World Records. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Planks at Wikimedia Commons