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Need a low impact full body strength workout? Planks are the way to go! They have the advantage of building muscle, strengthening your core, and helping you lose weight. The best part is that you can complete an entire home workout with only a yoga mat for knee support when necessary. The Low Impact Full Body Plank Workout for Beginners in this post will take your strength to the next level.

If like me, you’re following an intermittent fasting protocol and like to vary the intensity of your workouts throughout the week, then this workout is perfect for your low impact days.

Planks are easy to love for many reasons. Let’s start with the fact that pretty much anybody can do them. For example, if you can’t stay in a full plank position, you can bring your knees to the ground until your core has been strengthened enough to complete a full plank.

Another great thing about planks is that they never get old. As your strength improves, you can extend the number of seconds you remain plank position or make the plank more complicated. Ultimately, you can build up your plank strength and workouts indefinitely.

There are many common exercises that involve planks as the starting point or as part of it. For example, pushups and burpees both involve planks. My point here is that, depending on the variation, you can get a complete body workout with planks. And this full body plank workout for beginners is perfect to get you started.

LOW IMPACT FULL BODY PLANK WORKOUT FOR BEGINNERS

The following 9 plank exercises build up in difficulty. If you’re just starting out, try them all and simply reduce the amount of time that you do each exercise.

But, always push yourself to an uncomfortable place! If you don’t feel discomfort, you’re not building up muscle strength. It’s not uncommon to shake while you plank, so go ahead and shake away, but continue planking. 😉

1.     BASIC HIGH AND LOW PLANKS

We’re going to start this full body plank workout for beginners with the most basic plank positions, which are the high plank and the low plank. Both basic plank positions serve as the base for the other exercises in this post.

MUSCLES TARGETED: With these, you’re targeting your shoulders, abs, and thighs.

There are two common ways that people break form with a plank, and this applies to both positions. Make sure you don’t do either one of these.

The first one is lifting your butt in the air, rather than maintaining a straight line. The second is dipping your head down, looking at your stomach, or the floor beneath you.

To do a high plank correctly, prevent injury, and get all the benefits of this exercise, your arms must be placed directly under your shoulders. Create a straight line with your body from head to toe.

For a low plank, maintain the same position as a high plank, but bend your arms in a 90° angle, holding your weight up by your forearms. Your elbows should be placed directly under your shoulders with a low plank. Create a straight line from head to toe, as if there’s a ruler going through keeping you in a straight line.

HIGH AND LOW PLANK EXERCISES:

  1. Hold a high plank position for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat twice.
  2. Hold a low plank position for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat twice.

If 30 seconds is not challenging enough, increase the time by 30 additional seconds until you reach a challenging level.

 full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-low-plank

2.    SIDE PLANK

Side planks should not be underestimated. Aside from being challenging to maintain in proper form when you’re just getting started, this simple pose does a killer job on your obliques.

Want an awesome waist? Then start doing side planks.

MUSCLES TARGETED: Obliques, shoulders, thighs, and glutes.

PROPER FORM: Again, imagine that your body has a ruler going straight down your center from head to toe. Take caution to not strain your neck by losing that line going down your body. Keep it straight.

SIDE PLANK: Complete three 30-second planks with 15 seconds of rest in between if you’re a beginner. For the more advanced, increase side plank time by 30 seconds until you find the exercise to be challenging.

full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-side-plank

3.    SIDE PLANK LIFT

To take the side plank to the next level in this full body plank workout for beginners, lift and drop your hip. Ideally, you are lowering your hip close to the floor, but you don’t touch it. As you lift, count 5 seconds, repeating the 5-second count as you lower.

MUSCLES TARGETED: Abs, obliques, shoulders, thighs, and glutes.

PROPER FORM: To start with, follow the proper form explained in the side planks above. Another thing to consider is that it’s easy to use momentum to move your hips up and down. Resist it, don’t try to complete this exercise quickly.

Count 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down as stated above. This will ensure that you engage the muscles and receive the intended benefits of this exercise.

SIDE PLANK LIFT: Repeat side plank lift for 1 minute on your right side. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat side plank lift for 1 minute on your left side. Repeat both sides twice more.

full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-side-plank-lift

4.    ROTATING SIDE PLANK

Let’s take the side plank to another level by completing a rotating side plank. In this one, you go through the full range of motion from side to side.

In this case, start in a high plank position. Rotate to a right side plank and hold for 3 seconds. Rotate to a high plank through to a left side plank and hold for 3 seconds. You can complete a rotating side plank in low plank position if you prefer.

MUSCLES TARGETED: entire core, abs, obliques, shoulders, hips

PROPER FORM: The most important thing to accomplish with rotating side planks is to maintain a straight pose throughout the entire exercise. This is a straight line from head to toe.

ROTATING SIDE PLANK: Repeat rotating side planks from right to left for a period of one minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat twice more.

 full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-rotating-side-plank

5.    HIGH PLANK LEG LIFT

While it looks like a piece of cake, the high plank leg lift is a challenging exercise when you’re just getting started. But I couldn’t leave it out of this this full body plank workout for beginners because it does a killer job on your legs and your core!

To do the high plank leg lift, start out in high plank position and lift one leg parallel to the ground. Yes, simple… then hold that position.

MUSCLES TARGETED: Abs, lower back, shoulders, hamstrings.

PROPER FORM: We’ve already discussed good plank form. Make it a point to not fit your butt out of the straight line of high plank form.

HIGH PLANK LEG LIFT: Maintain high plank leg lift position for 30 seconds on your right side. Rest for 15 seconds. Maintain high plank leg lift position for 30 seconds on your left side. Repeat both sides twice more.

full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-high-plank-leg-lift

6.    TWO-LEVEL PLANK

The two-level plank is sure to strengthen your arms from top to bottom! Start in a high plank position and go into a low plank one arm at a time. Then go back up into a high plank one arm at a time. Switch off the starting arm as you go.

MUSCLES TARGETED: biceps, triceps, abs, thighs, shoulders

PROPER FORM: Switch off between starting with your right arm and your left arm to ensure even effort and muscle building in both arms.

TWO-LEVEL PLANK: Complete as many two-level planks as possible for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat the entire exercise/rest cycle twice more.

full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-two-level-planks

7.     TRICEP PUSHUPS

Plank position is involved in pushups, as mentioned earlier. If you’re maintaining proper form in high plank, with your hands directly under your shoulders, then completing a pushup in that position is a triceps pushup.

You may modify the pushup by bringing your knees down to the floor until you build enough triceps strength to hold up your entire body.

MUSCLES TARGETED: triceps, abs

PROPER FORM: This is another exercise that you want to complete slowly. As you go up and down, count for three seconds each way to ensure you have enough time to engage your muscles.

TRICEP PUSHUPS: Complete triceps pushups, counting 3 seconds on the way up and 3 seconds on the way down.

full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-triceps-pushups

8.    PLANK ROW

Plank rows are completed with weights to target your back muscles. However, if you’re just beginning, you can use very light weights or no weights at all. It’s supposed to feel very challenging though.

None of the exercises in this full body plank workout for beginners is supposed to feel easy. Otherwise, you will not get the benefits of the workout.

To complete a plank row, start in high plank, gripping weights in your hands, rather than laying hands flat on the floor. You’ll remain in high plank position while lifting one weight at a time to your side in a row.

MUSCLES TARGETED: biceps, triceps, lats, core, legs

PROPER FORM: Try to keep your shoulders and body parallel to the ground. It’s easy to lose form by lifting the side of your body along with your arms. Make a conscious effort to remain parallel to the ground.

As you did with the triceps pushups, count 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down to engage your muscles when you’re completing this exercise.

PLANK ROW: Complete as many plank rows as possible for a period of one minute. Repeat twice more. Rest for 30 seconds in between each round. One full plank row includes completion of the exercise in both arms.

full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-plank-row

9.    PLANK WITH KNEE TO ELBOW

The plank with knee to elbow exercise will no doubt increase your heart rate the most of all these exercises.

Start in high plank position. Reach your right knee toward your left elbow. Go back to full high plank position. Repeat on the left side.

MUSCLES TARGETED: shoulders, abs, thighs, hamstrings, obliques

PROPER FORM: Keep a straight line from head to toe. With this exercise, it’s easy to curve under to try to reach the knee to the elbow, including bringing the head to chin. Try to avoid losing the straight alignment. Even if you curve under a little, make sure you always go back to full plank position proper form.

PLANK WITH KNEE TO ELBOW: Complete as many planks with knee to elbows as possible for a period of one minute, switching between right and left knees throughout the workout. Repeat for two more 1-minute rounds. Rest for 30 seconds in between each round.

full-body-plank-workout-for-beginners-knee-to-elbow-planks

LOW IMPACT FULL BODY PLANK WORKOUT FOR BEGINNERS MODIFICATIONS

This low impact full body plank workout for beginners is an excellent routine to take your fitness to the next level. It’s not an easy workout, but you can accomplish it even if you’re just starting to work out.

Modify by bringing your knees to the floor with any of the exercises if you feel that the full plank position is too much. But always remember to try it first without modification. You will find that you’ll be able to accomplish it as you gain strength. For side planks, modify by placing the bottom knee on the floor for support.

You can also modify every exercise by decreasing the number of seconds you hold the position or complete the reps.

Switch between this workout and HIIT training throughout the week to tone up and build stamina and muscle strength.

LOW IMPACT FULL BODY PLANK WORKOUT FOR BEGINNERS SUMMARY

  1. HIGH AND LOW PLANK EXERCISES:
    • Hold a high plank position for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat twice.
    • Hold a low plank position for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat twice.

    If 30 seconds is not challenging enough, increase the time by 30 additional seconds until you reach a challenging level.

  2. SIDE PLANK: Complete three 30-second planks with 15 seconds of rest in between if you’re a beginner. For the more advanced, increase side plank time by 30 seconds until you find the exercise to be challenging.
  3. SIDE PLANK LIFT: Repeat side plank lift for 1 minute on your right side. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat side plank lift for 1 minute on your left side. Repeat both sides twice more.
  4. ROTATING SIDE PLANK: Repeat rotating side planks from right to left for a period of one minute. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat twice more.
  5. HIGH PLANK LEG LIFT: Maintain high plank leg lift position for 30 seconds on your right side. Rest for 15 seconds. Maintain high plank leg lift position for 30 seconds on your left side. Repeat both sides twice more.
  6. TWO-LEVEL PLANK: Complete as many two-level planks as possible for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat the entire exercise/rest cycle twice more.
  7. TRICEP PUSHUPS: Complete triceps pushups, counting 3 seconds on the way up and 3 seconds on the way down.
  8. PLANK ROW: Complete as many plank rows as possible for a period of one minute. Repeat twice more. Rest for 30 seconds in between each round. One full plank row includes completion of the exercise in both arms.
  9. PLANK WITH KNEE TO ELBOW: Complete as many planks with knee to elbows as possible for a period of one minute, switching between right and left knees throughout the workout. Repeat for two more 1-minute rounds. Rest for 30 seconds in between each round.

Comment below to share for how long you can hold plank position.

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Full Body Plank Workout for Beginners

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