Looking for an effective and simple exercise to help you lose weight? Look no further than the plank. This basic yet challenging exercise can deliver impressive results when it comes to burning calories and toning muscles.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: planking can burn up to 7 calories per minute, or around 350 calories in an hour.

In this ultimate guide to planking and weight loss, we will explore the science behind planking, how to do it correctly, its benefits, and how to maximize your calorie burn with variations and challenges.

The Science of Planking

Planking is a popular exercise that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is an isometric exercise that targets multiple muscles simultaneously, making it an excellent full-body workout. The primary muscles worked during planking are the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques, and erector spinae. In addition, planking also engages the shoulders, back, and legs.

Planking is an excellent way to burn calories because it requires a lot of energy to maintain the proper form for an extended period. Planking burns around two to five calories per minute, depending on your body weight and the duration of the plank. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds can burn up to 20 calories in just one minute of planking.

Body Weight Calories Burned Per Minute
125 lbs 2 calories
150 lbs 3.5 calories
175 lbs 5 calories

Proper form is crucial when doing planks to target the right muscles and prevent injury. To get into the proper form for planking, start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core and hold the position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form. Beginners can start with 10-second holds and work their way up to longer durations as they get stronger.

Benefits of Planking

Planking is an effective exercise that has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous benefits. Here are three of the main benefits of planking:

  • Improved posture: Planking helps to strengthen the back muscles, which can improve your posture. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in front of a computer.
  • Reduced risk of injury: Planking can help to strengthen the muscles around your joints, which can reduce your risk of injury. This is particularly important if you are an athlete or if you engage in activities that put a lot of stress on your joints.
  • Better balance and stability: Planking requires you to engage your core muscles, which can improve your balance and stability. This can be especially beneficial for older adults who are at risk of falls.

Maximizing Your Calorie Burn

If you’re looking to burn calories and lose weight, planking is a great exercise to add to your routine. Not only does it work your entire body, but it can also help increase your metabolism and improve your core strength.

Variations on the Basic Plank

One way to maximize your calorie burn during planking is to try different variations of the basic plank. For example, you can try a side plank, which targets your obliques and can help tone your waistline. Another variation is the plank with leg lift, which works your glutes and hamstrings in addition to your core.

Another variation is the reverse plank, which works your lower back and glutes. To do a reverse plank, sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your hands on the floor behind your hips, with your fingers pointing towards your feet. Lift your hips off the floor, keeping your arms and legs straight. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.

Adding Challenges to Increase Intensity

To increase the intensity of your plank and burn more calories, you can add challenges to your routine. One way to do this is to hold a plank for a longer period of time. Start with 30 seconds and work your way up to one minute or longer.

You can also try a plank with shoulder taps, which works your shoulders and arms in addition to your core. Start in a plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder, then return to the plank position. Repeat on the other side. Continue alternating for 30 seconds to one minute.

Creating a Plank Workout Routine

If you want to make planking a regular part of your workout routine, try creating a plank workout. For example, you could start with a basic plank for 30 seconds, then move to a side plank on the right side for 30 seconds, followed by a side plank on the left side for 30 seconds. Continue with a reverse plank for 30 seconds and finish with a plank with leg lift for 30 seconds. Rest for one minute and repeat the circuit two to three times.

Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed. And don’t forget to combine planking with other forms of exercise and a healthy diet for maximum weight loss results.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, a 125-pound person can burn up to 120 calories in 30 minutes of planking, while a 155-pound person can burn up to 149 calories, and a 185-pound person can burn up to 178 calories.

Incorporating Planking into Your Weight Loss Plan

Planking is a great exercise for targeting multiple muscle groups and burning calories. If you’re looking to incorporate planking into your weight loss plan, here are some tips to get you started:

  • How often should you plank? It’s recommended to start with holding a plank for 20-30 seconds and gradually increase the time as you get stronger. Aim to plank 3-4 times a week with rest days in between to allow your muscles to recover.
  • How to track your progress? Keeping track of your progress can be a great motivator. Use a stopwatch or timer to measure how long you can hold a plank and track your progress over time. You can also take before and after photos to visually see the changes in your body.
  • Tips for combining planking with other exercises: Planking can be a great addition to your workout routine, but it’s important to combine it with other exercises for a well-rounded workout. Try combining planks with exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges for a full-body workout. You can also add in some cardio exercises like running or jumping jacks to increase your calorie burn.

Remember that weight loss is not just about exercise, but also about nutrition. Make sure to follow a healthy and balanced diet to see the best results. Incorporating planking into your weight loss plan can be a great way to target multiple muscle groups, increase your calorie burn, and see results over time.


Planking is a simple and effective exercise that can help you burn calories, build strength, and achieve your weight loss goals. By understanding the science behind planking, using proper form, and incorporating variations and challenges, you can maximize your calorie burn and see real results. So why not give it a try and see for yourself?

We hope this ultimate guide to planking and weight loss has been helpful and informative. Incorporate planking into your fitness routine and watch the pounds melt away.

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