• Mariah Heller

The Pain-Free Guide to Planks

Planks are pretty awesome.

They are fantastic tools for body awareness, core stability, and muscle engagement. The best part? They can be done anywhere and require no equipment. Let's talk about planks and plank variations.

Mariah Heller Plank
Mariah Heller Pain-Free Fitness

If you follow me on Instagram (@coachmariahpainfreefitness), you saw in Monday's post my three main cues for the basic plank:

1) Squeeze your shoulders down your back

2) Pull your bellybutton to your spine

3) Push your heels back to engage your legs

These cues apply no matter what plank variation you're doing.

What plank variations CAN I do, you ask?!?!

Let's talk about progressions first.


In a plank, the CLOSER YOUR HEAD IS TO THE FLOOR, the MORE DIFFICULT the movement will be.

The NARROWER YOUR BASE OF SUPPORT, the MORE DIFFICULT the movement will be. Make those statements your plank mantras.

Take a look at my awesome diagram below.

Mariah Heller Plank
Mariah Heller Pain-Free Fitness

Have you mastered the art of progressing your planks already and are thinking, "psshh, this is child's play?"

Try these variations! (All pictures are excerpts from my eBook "Pain-Free Fitness and Living,"

Mariah Heller
Elevated plank leg lift

Mariah Heller
Feet-elevated or decline plank

Mariah Heller Pain-Free Fitness
Plank wall/med ball/chair tap

Mariah Heller pain-free fitness
Side plank

Questions?? Comments??

Email me at

Connect with me on IG at @coachmariahpainfreefitness


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