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 forearm 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 then extends the arms or hands as far forward as possible.[6]


The plank strengthens the abdominals, back and shoulders. Muscles involved in the front plank include[7]:

Muscles involved in the side plank include:

World record[edit]

Guiness World Records lists the record for longest duration of a front plank, resting on elbows, as 8 hours and 1 minute, set by Chinese policeman Mao Weidong on May 14, 2016.[8] Retired Marine George Hood completed a record attempt in June 2018, holding a plank for 10 hours, 10 minutes, and 10 seconds.[9]

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.[10]
  • by a woman with a 60-lb pack is 17 min and 26 sec by Eva Bulzomi (USA) in July 2013.[11]
  • with a 100-lb pack is 17 min 02 sec by Silehm Boussehaba (France) in December 2018.[12]
  • with a 200-lb pack is 4 min 2 sec by Silehm Boussehaba (France) in March 2018.[13]

The longest single-arm plank while balancing on medicine balls is 47.54 seconds, by William Borger (Canada) in October 2016.[14]


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. ^ "The Plank". Boot Camp & Military Fitness Institute. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  8. ^ Longest time in an abdominal plank position (male), Guinness World Records
  9. ^ Danger, Jessica (2018-06-29). "Retired Marine Sets 10+ Hour Plank World Record". Morning Chalk Up. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  10. ^ "Longest time in an abdominal plank position (female)". Guinness World Records.
  11. ^ "Longest time in an abdominal plank position with a 60-lb pack (female)". Guinness World Records.
  12. ^ "Longest time in an abdominal plank position with a 100 lb pack". Guinness World Records.
  13. ^ "Longest time in an abdominal plank position with a 200-lb pack". Guinness World Records.
  14. ^ "Longest single-arm plank while balancing on medicine balls". Guinness World Records.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Planks at Wikimedia Commons