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4 Easy Modified Planks For Beginners

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Have you been trying to perform planking exercises, but found it difficult and uncomfortable? Then, this article is for you.

modified planks for beginners
Modified Planks for Beginners

As a fitness and yoga coach, I’ve seen many people struggle with planks. As a result, they’ve been turned off by the thought of doing them.


The good news is that you don’t have to give up on this amazing core exercise. There are several plank positions you can try out.


Some plank positions might be too hard, but there are beginner-friendly plank exercise variations that will help you build up to a more advanced plank position.


In this article, I will share some modified planks for beginners and their benefits. You will also find an instructional video to guide you through these beginner-friendly planks.


Keep reading below.


Table of Contents:

4 Easy Modified Planks For Beginners

Watch the video below for the full tutorial on these 4 modified planks for beginners. You can also scroll down to see the step-by-step instructions and a photo if you need more guidance.


Plank Modification #1: Full Plank or High Plank


full plank
Full Plank or High Plank

To perform the high plank, follow the steps below:

  • Lie down on your stomach on the mat or floor.

  • Place your hands underneath your shoulders.

  • Step your legs back and lift your heels up. Place your feet at hip-width apart.

  • Slowly lift yourself up using your arms.

  • Keep your head, back, and legs in one straight line.

  • Ensure that your toes, palms, and fingers are your only body parts touching the floor or mat.

  • Try staying in this position for 15 or 30 seconds.

Plank Modification #2: High Plank with Knees Down

kneeling plank
High Plank with Knees Down

To perform the high plank with knees down modification, follow the steps below:

  • Lie down on your stomach on the mat or floor.

  • Place your hands underneath your shoulders.

  • Step your legs back and place your feet at hip-width apart.

  • Slowly lift yourself up using your arms and bring your knees back down to the ground.

  • Ensure your knees are behind your hips

  • Keep your head, back, and thighs in a straight line.

  • Ensure that your palms and your body from the knees down to the tops of your feet are touching the floor or mat.

  • Try staying in this position for 15 or 30 seconds.

Plank Modification #3: Knee Down Forearm Plank

knee to elbow plank
Knee Down Forearm Plank

To perform the knee-down forearm plank, follow the steps below:

  • Lie down on your stomach on the mat or floor.

  • Place your forearms underneath your shoulders. Stacking your shoulders on top of your elbows.

  • Step your legs back and place your feet hip-width apart or closer.

  • Slowly lift yourself up using your forearms and your knees down behind your hips.

  • Keep your head, back, and thighs straight.

  • Try staying in this position for 15 or 30 seconds.

Plank Modification #4: Forearm Plank

forearm plank
Forearm Plank

The forearm plank is a great stepping stone from options 2 and 3 above as you work towards the first option (high plank).


To perform the forearm plank, follow the steps below:

  • Lie down on your stomach on the mat or floor.

  • Place your forearms underneath your shoulders. Stacking your shoulders on top of your elbows.

  • Step your legs back and lift your heels up. Place your feet hip-width apart or closer.

  • Slowly lift yourself up using your forearms.

  • Keep your head, back, and legs, to your heels in a straight line.

  • Ensure that your forearms and toes are the only parts of your body touching the floor or mat.

  • Try staying in this position for 15 or 30 seconds.

Benefits Of Plank Exercises

Planks can improve posture and stability

Core exercises such as plank can improve posture and stability. It trains your abdominal muscles to work harmoniously, leading to better balance and stability[1].


Planking alone will not improve your posture, but in conjunction with core stabilizers and frequences (abs, back, and glutes), your back can be trained to be straighter when sitting or standing [2].


Planks can help protect your back

As your core becomes stronger, it will be easier to do normal daily activities such as lifting, pushing, and pulling without back pain. Planks can help alleviate back pains by stabilizing and creating a stronger core.


Planks can be beneficial to your mental health

Like any form of exercise, planks can improve your mood and reduce stress.


Planks are convenient

You don't need any equipment when doing plank exercises. You can do them anywhere as long as there is a flat surface the length of your body.


FAQs About Modified Planks For Beginners

Are modified planks effective?

Any plank modification can help strengthen your core. If you are a beginner or have a hard time performing a plank, an easier modified plank is a good option to start. Then you can move to an advanced or harder plank variation as you get stronger.


How long should a beginner hold a plank?

You can start from anywhere! Even 10 seconds is progress. Start where you are at and build up by adding short sets, then a few additional seconds, and before you know it, you'll be planking for 30 seconds!


How do you make planking easier for beginners?

If a forearm plank is too difficult for you, you can try plank variations 2 and 3 above. Also, if you can't hold a plank position for long, you can do multiple sets for a shorter period of time.


What to do next?

I hope these beginner plank modifications can help you get started in your plank exercise goals. The planking exercise might seem difficult at first, but as you practice little by little, you will find it easier to hold a plank position and do longer sets.


So, get started with these beginner plank modifications and stick to them. You will see your core getting stronger and more toned as the days go by.


 

About the Author

Alexa Hanshaw

Co-Author: Irish Doton


Alexa Hanshaw is a health and stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.


Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!








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