How To Do Copenhagen Plank Properly

The Copenhagen plank or Copenhagen adduction exercise is a side plank variation that targets the muscles of the inner thigh and groin, the adductors.

These muscles are primarily responsible for the adduction of the hip which moves the leg towards the midline.

This movement is an advanced exercise that also works your entire body.

For this exercise, you will require an elevated platform such as a bench or a chair from which you can do an elevated side plank from your elbow.

If you are working on your left adductor muscles, your right forearm will be grounded on the floor and your left foot would be grounded on the bench and vice versa.

This version can however pose a challenge for beginners or people with weak knees or pre-existing knee complications.

This exercise is important for strengthening your adductors. Weak adductors put you at higher risk of injury.

Strong adductors aid in hip extension and rotational power and allow you to get into more athletic positions.

There is an easier variation of this exercise where you have your knees bent at a 90-degree angle on the bench.

This will reduce strain on the knees and make the movement easier to perform.

HOW TO DO COPENHAGEN PLANK

  • For this exercise, you need a raised platform such as a bench. You can also get a mat underneath your elbow to make it more comfortable for your arm on the floor.
  • Have your left forearm on the floor and your right foot grounded on the bench.
  • Lift your body off the floor with your weight supported by your left foot and right forearm so that you are in an elevated side plank position with your left foot suspended in the air.
  • Your body should be in one rigid line throughout the movement. Squeezing your glutes can help maintain a straight line position. You can hold the top position for a set amount of time or simply raise and lower in and out of that position to perform your number of desired reps.
  • After you finish your set time for the plank or the number of reps you raise and lower your hips, switch up your arm and legs so that the left foot is on the bench and your right forearm is on the floor and repeat the movement for the same number of reps or hold the position for the same duration.
  • For beginners, you should start with your knees on the bench instead of your toes to avoid straining your knees. You can however increase the distance from bench until only your foot and ankle are on the bench once you feel you can comfortably hold that position without too much strain on your knees.
  • This will make the exercise more challenging by increasing the suspended length and weight of the body and putting the groin muscles at a greater mechanical disadvantage.
  • For the reps approach, 3 sets of 10 reps are advised and for the duration approach, perform 4 sets of 30 second holds.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES COPENHAGEN PLANK WORK

ADDUCTOR MUSCLES

The Copenhagen plank targets the muscles of the inner thigh and groin which consist of the adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus , pectineus and gracilis.

All these muscles are primarily responsible for adducting the hip, or moving the leg toward the midline. The adductor longus and pectineus also help in hip flexion and the adductor magnus also contributes to hip extension. Most of these muscles also perform secondary functions like internal hip rotation.

Most of these adductor muscles are neglected by traditional planks and side planks. Strong adductors are especially important for athletes and this exercise does just that. It will isolate your inner thigh muscles and work them to make stronger which will make it easier to get in athletic positions.

CORE MUSCLES

This exercise will activate the core muscles, which include the transverse abdominis, the rectus abdominis and the internal and external obliques.

When doing Copenhagen planks you will feel a burn in your core from the exercise.

This will help burn stubborn fat around your core and give you a generally stronger core. A strong core boosts your body stability and balance.

Strong obliques will also improve your posture, protect your spine and reduce the risk of back injuries.

The rectus abdominis is the top layer of muscles of your stomach.

Copenhagen planks will burn all the stubborn fat around these muscles and give you visible six-pack abs.

UPPER BODY MUSCLES

Your upper body muscles such as the trapezius, the rhomboids, deltoids, and pectorals will also benefit from this exercise. This exercise will target your upper body muscles by drawing energy for maintaining the horizontal posture and activating them in the process.

LOWER BODY MUSCLES

Your lower body muscles will also benefit from this exercise, specifically your quads, gluteus muscles and hamstrings. The glutes are engaged in helping strengthen and stabilize your hips.

BENEFITS OF COPENHAGEN PLANKS

STRENGTHENING YOUR MUSCLES

This exercise will primarily target your adductor muscles which are neglected by most exercises. It will isolate these inner thigh muscles and activate them to boost their strength which is beneficial especially for athletes.

Also, it engages muscles around your hips like the glutes and even extend all the way to your hamstrings to make them all stronger.

It will also strengthen your core muscles and upper body muscles by engaging all these regions when keeping the body suspended horizontally.

IMPROVING POSTURE

Copenhagen planks will train your body to stay in a straight line by engaging the back muscles. This will help you have a straighter posture.

REDUCING RISK OF INJURIES

This is especially important for athletes. Copenhagen planks will engage your adductors to make them stronger and reduce risks on your knees. It will also work muscles around your hips and core to give you sturdier hips and boost your overall balance.

ALTERNATIVES FOR COPENHAGEN PLANKS

SIDE PLANKS

The major difference between this exercise and Copenhagen planks is the position of the legs. While doing Copenhagen planks your legs are suspended over a bench and while doing side planks they are stacked on each other.

Besides that you keep the same posture as you do with the Copenhagen planks.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING COPENHAGEN PLANKS

JUMPING STRAIGHT TO THE ADVANCED VERSION

The biggest mistake beginners often make is going straight to the advanced version of the exercise, planking from their toes. This increases the risk of strain and possible injury to your knees.

People who also have existing knee complications are advised to avoid this variation.

CONCLUSION

The Copenhagen plank is an amazing workout to work your lower body, especially muscles that are often neglected by most exercises while also working your core and upper body as well.

It will prove to be resourceful if done correctly.