The wall plank is a plyometrics and total body exercise that tones you up and builds strength. It is a more advanced and interesting variation of the planks.
It mainly targets the abdominals and to a lesser extent the calves, chest, forearms, hip flexors, obliques, shoulders and triceps.
The only thing you need to perform the move is a wall. It requires those with a expert level of physical fitness and exercise experience.
HOW TO DO WALL PLANK
Here is a step-by-step procedure for performing the exercise.
- Start in standing position with your back facing away from the wall. Ensure there is enough room to be able to place your hands on the floor and at the same time your feet against the wall.
- Put your hands on the ground and walk your feet towards the wall.
- Now, slowly and carefully walk your feet up the wall.
- Get your body to be parallel to the ground. Then squeeze your core and press your feet on the wall.
- Ensure that your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
- Attempt to hold this position for about ten seconds. You can gradually increase this time over time.
WALL PLANK MUSCLES ENGAGED
The primary muscle targeted is the core. Other secondary muscles are the hip flexors, trapezius, obliques, rhomboids, forearms, latissimus dorsi, pectorals, serratus anterior, deltoids, biceps, and triceps.
All these muscles work hard during the wall plank.
WALL PLANK BENEFITS
The move improves your shoulder strength as some of your body weight is balanced on your arms.
The move also enables you to learn how to place weights onto your hands. It also increases your confidence to do intimidating exercises like handstands and other inversions, where you are upside down.
Strengthening the core is another benefit of the exercise. Not only does a solid core look and feel good but it helps to stabilize, balance, and power the body too.
Moreover, having a strong core enables you to have coordinated and powerful athletic movements. Furthermore, it reduces stress on the joints and improves your posture.
Having good posture means that your bones are kept aligned. Therefore, strengthening your spine, rhomboids, trapezius, and abs can naturally contribute to a strong posture.
A good posture has many benefits like improving certain back conditions and maybe prevent the onset of others.
Despite it being more of a strength-building exercise than a cardio exercise, the fact that it engages a range of muscles enables it to increase your metabolism thus, boosting your calorie burn.
WALL PLANK ALTERNATIVES
ARM OR LEG LIFT PLANKS
Arm and leg lift planks are another variation of the regular planks. They are a great addition to your workout routine either by switching out or supplementing them with other plank variations.
For the move, you’ll need to get into the standard plank position then lift an arm or a leg. The move efficiently works the muscles in your upper back, chest, and core.
You can also target your obliques and glutes more if you lift your leg and your shoulders if you lift your arm.
This type of planks exerts a lot of strain in your muscles, meaning that you’ll gain more strength and endurance by doing them.
The decline plank is another plank variation that is performed with your feet close together on top of the BOSU dome. Your elbows should be placed on the ground under your shoulders and your hands fisted.
It is also a calisthenics exercise that can be incorporated in pilates. It mainly targets the abs and to a lesser extent the glutes, hip flexors, lower back and shoulders as well.
This version places a little more stress on the lower abs than the rest of the six-pack. The lower abs muscles are often neglected.
Since the move puts more stress on the shoulders, this “beginner” exercise can end up being surprisingly hard to maintain.
MARCHING WALL PLANK
The marching wall plank is another plank variation that involves the anti-rotational elements of the torso and hip stability.
For its execution, you’ll need to get into a plank position, then lift and touch one arm to the opposite leg. The rest of your body should not move.
This calisthenics exercise targets the abs as primary muscles and the lower back, middle back and shoulders as secondary muscles.
DECLINE MARCHING WALL PLANK
The decline marching wall plank is another alternative to the wall plank. It is a plyometrics and total body work out that primarily targets the abs.
It also targets the biceps, chest, forearms, hip flexors, lower back, middle back, shoulders, traps and triceps to a lesser extent.
You also just need a wall to perform the decline marching wall plank. However, the move has several variations that you can attempt requiring a variety of decline marching wall plank equipment while others do not even require any equipment at all.
WALL PLANK MISTAKES TO AVOID
ARCHING YOUR BACK
Do not arch your back as this will not properly engage your abdominals. You will be putting more weight onto your arms.
Ensure you maintain your shoulders down and wide.
SAGGING YOUR HIP
When your abs start to fatigue, your hips will begin sinking. That’s an indication to end your plank.
However, if you’re hips start sagging from the beginning, engage your abs and try separating your feet a bit wider.
TILTING YOUR HEAD UP
Do not tilt your neck up during the move as this could strain your neck. Ensure you keep your neck in line with your body.
For this, you need to maintain your gaze down at the floor.
The wall plank is an advanced variation of the plank. It offers similar strength training benefit.
In addition, it builds confidence and strength for other inversion exercises. Keep in mind the correct form and consistency in doing the exercise.
You can alternate the move with its variations or the regular planks to keep your workout routine interesting and challenging.