The plank is a very effective exercise to strengthen the entire core. You often see two basic variations, either on the forearms or on the hands.

? The forearm plank puts a greater emphasis on the abdominal muscles because the body is closer to the center of gravity and therefore must work harder. It’s also a better option if you have wrist or shoulder pain.
? The push-up plank or hand plank works the triceps and shoulder muscles more because the body is positioned more vertically against gravity. It still strengthens your abs; you just won’t feel it as much as on the forearm plank. Furthermore, this variation helps to increase shoulder stability and requires more balancing skills, due to the smaller base of support.

Either options should be included in a well-rounded exercise routine. Once you mastered the basics, it’s time to move on to more challenging variations. ?