The Great Plank Debate

If you are Following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram then you know that I have been hosting a Plank A Day Challenge over the past 5 days.



I have also been posting pictures of my planks and I have been receiving quite the remarks in regards to my non fore arm plank, or Military/ Straight Arm Plank. I decided that this would be the perfect oppourtunity to have a little Plank 101….. there’s more than one way to Plank!!

Traditional (or more commonly known) Forearm Plank:

The forearm plank works your lower back and abdominal muscles. These muscles help stabilize the rest of your body during physical activity and are responsible for your posture.


Straight Arm/Military Plank:


This beginner’s pose is meant to strengthen the arms, wrists, shoulders and abdomen while creating overall stability. It is also used widely in Pilates classes because it develops a strong “core,” or the deep abdominal muscles along with the mid- and lower back muscles, which in turn prevents injury because functional movements are highly dependent on the core.


Side Plank:


Side plank exercises target the gluteal muscles, obliques, quadriceps, hamstrings, thigh abductors and adductors. Strengthening these muscles means that your lower back and spine have more support and are better protected from injury caused by back strain and/or sudden movements. Side plank exercises also improve core strength; this means increased core stability, which translates into a stronger back and minimal soreness.

Now we could keep going with modifications, how long to hold the pose, how often etc…. but I want to focus on is finding what works for YOU! Pick a plank style and try it out, if it seems to easy then try a different one. Personally for me I like to roatate between forearm and straight arm planks, I feel like they give me the best overall core work out.

My friend Dani of Weight Off My Shoulders also does the Plank A Day Challenge and she does ALL 3 variations mentioned above, she’s sort of an expert and pioneer of the PADC.

Here’s Dani’s take on the Straight Arm/Military Plank: ” It’s tougher than a forearm plank in my opnion because it works more of the shoulders/arms in addition to the core.”

And my lovely friend Joanna of Sports Bras and Sippy Cups is also a planking machine and says, ” There are several types of Planks and changing up the poses changes the muscles being worked. You can do forearm, straight arm, side, leg up…. the variations are endless.”

So as you can see I’m not cheating or do anything “wrong” I’m just planking outside the box! If you’d like to join in on the fun you can join myself and the following ladies DAILY on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Simply, plank – time yourself- and log your time along with a photo if you have it and tag Girl Gone Healthy!!

Joy Friedman

Nikki Cutright

Kameron Scampoli

Rebecca V

Melissa Gardner

Michele Cook

Lynne D

Heather Morris

Tessa Costa

Megan Taylor

Carey Robinson

Sarah Bouvier

Joanna Stepka

Karyn Ward

Jen Senecal

Sara Wood

April Wilcock

Heather Kraus

Jessica Grimes

Healthy Wishes, T

10 thoughts on “The Great Plank Debate”

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