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Plank 101 - Definition from beginner to mastering the plank

Updated: May 24, 2020

The plank is one of the best exercises that you can do for your core. Any good weight loss coach knows that the plank is simple to do but challenging on the muscles that support your torso and back. By strengthening these muscles, you’ll improve your posture and make most physical tasks easier, with less stress on your spine… but The 1:1 Diet team appreciate it’s a pretty tough one to master when you’re just starting out, so we’ve created our ‘30 Day Plank Challenge’, to turn you into a total planking-pro!

There are a few stages to the plank, from beginner to expert, once you’ve mastered each stage you can level up and repeat the challenge for another 30 days! You can also attempt side planks and Spider-man planks as you get stronger.

Beginners Plank:

Start off on your knees

Place your hands on the floor, under your shoulders with arms slightly bent

Try to keep your body as straight as possible from knees to shoulders – so keep your butt low (Hint: doing it near a mirror helps)

You may be a bit wobbly but stick with it and you’ll get rock solid

Hold this pose for the times below

(Remember to breathe!)

Intermediate Plank:

Again, we’re on our knees

Place your elbows and forearms on the floor, with elbows directly below your shoulders

Again, keep your body straight and flat

Hold this pose for the times below

(You’re still breathing right?)

Expert Plank:

This time, it’s the bottom of your toes on the floor, not your knees

Hands under shoulders (like the Beginner plank)

Knees, hips, back and shoulders in a straight line

Hold this pose for the times below


Master Plank:

On our toes again

Elbows under your shoulders

You should be in the habit of keeping everything straight by now

Hold this pose for the times below

(Remember to breathe!)


Some people find it harder to do the plank on their hands than elbows – everyone’s different, so adjust accordingly.

There are loads of great videos on YouTube with fantastic plank form tips if you’re not sure you’re doing it right – it’s better to hold a correct plank for a few seconds than 30 seconds with bad form.

Print out our fab plank challenge printable and stick it on your fridge/up in your room to remind you to do the challenge every day (click to download at full resolution)

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