6 Plank Variation Exercises for Burning Fat

The plank is an excellent weight-loss exercise that targets almost all major muscle groups in the body. (Image via Pexels @Li Sun)
The plank is an excellent weight-loss exercise that targets almost all major muscle groups in the body. (Image via Pexels @Li Sun)
Sneha Santuka

The plank is one of the versatile exercises around. There are mind-boggling number of plank variation exercises that you can choose from.

A plank burns a lot of calories and promotes fitness when performed regularly. So what is the need for plank variation exercises?

Plank variations introduce more challenge, add excitement in exercising for trying out different variations, provide complete workout to muscles, and prevent overuse or injury to one group of muscles that may arise from following the same routine. The variations also target different muscles in the body with different intensity, and offer a great all-round workout.

Which Plank Variation Exercises Burn the Most Fat?

The forearm plank is the most basic plank that burns calories and tones your body. It is the best plank variation exercise for a beginner. Master the forearm plank before moving on to other variations of the exercise.

Plank exercises can add difficulty in progressively challenging your balance and stability. Check out these 6 plank variations you can do to burn fat and lose weight.


1. High Plank

High planks can enhance your posture. Holding a high plank position engages and strengthens your core, shoulders, legs, and lower-back muscles.

Here's how you can perform this plank variation exercise to burn fat:

  • Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands separated by shoulder-width and your knees by hip-width.
  • Lift your knees slowly and extend your legs straight behind you.
  • Engage your core while contracting your glutes and quadriceps. Avoid arching your back.
  • Face the floor for as long as you can while maintaining a neutral neck position.

2. Weighted Plank

The weighted plank engages the entire body and helps improve your posture. It burns fat quickly. It also builds strength and stability in the back and greatly enhances core strength.

Here's how you can perform this plank variation exercise:

  • Assume a table top position with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your hips over your knees.
  • Have someone place a weight slowly on your upper back.
  • Maintain an engaged core and extend your legs behind you one at a time to assume a push-up position.
  • Make sure your body is aligned and your head is neutral.
  • Return to your initial position after holding the form for as long as possible.

3. Plank Jacks

Plank jacks are a combined cardio and core-strengthening exercise that will activate the muscles of both the upper and lower body. It is a great fat-burning exercise.

Here's how you can perform this plank variation exercise:

  • Start by assuming the stance of a high plank.
  • Then hop with your legs apart and your back together (similar to a jumping jack).
  • Perform one set of plank jacks, that is, 30 repetitions.

4. Plank Shoulder-Taps

Plank shoulder taps improve core, glute, arm, and shoulder strength. This exercise helps to relieve lower back pain, improves posture, and tightens the abs.

Here's how you can perform this plank variation:

  • Assume a high plank position with your hands just beneath your shoulders and your feet in line with your hips.
  • Slowly raise one hand and tap the other shoulder.
  • Repeat with the opposite hand.
  • Repeat the exercise for as long as possible while keeping your core engaged.

5. Plank Up-Down

The plank up-down exercise targets your arm muscles as well as your core and challenges your stability. It also engages your quads and glutes.

Here's how you can perform this plank variation exercise to burn fat:

  • Start in a high plank stance.
  • Lower your right elbow to the mat, followed by your left, to assume a plank position on your forearms.
  • Then, alter your stance by placing your right hand on the mat and extending your right elbow.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

6. Side Plank

The side plank is probably the toughest plank variation exercise around. It strengthens your core without stressing your back. The exercise also targets and activates your obliques and improves balance.


Here's how you can perform this plank variation exercise to burn fat:

  • Lie down on one side of the body with straight legs.
  • Position your elbow directly below your shoulder while pressing your forearm to the surface.
  • Raise your hips, squeeze your glutes, and maintain the side position for as long as possible.

Include these 6 plank variation exercises in your routine to burn fat, lose weight and become fit!


Planks are the basic exercises of any fitness routine. Doing different plank variations not only removes boredom but also prepares you for more challenging exercises. Try these 6 common plank variations to lose fat quickly and strengthen your core muscles.

live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Which plank variation is your favorite?

Plank Jacks

Side Plank

36 votes so far

Edited by Ramaa Kishore


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