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The standing wall plank exercise is one of the core exercises in my Strengthen Your Core program and my online course, Building a Stronger Core.

This standing wall plank exercise variation is specifically designed as a core exercise for beginners and senior. However, advanced users might find it a challenge.

Standing Wall Plank Exercise for Seniors and Beginners

It is important at this point to stay strong through the shoulders and that you don’t round your back. Keep your posture in good form. Rather, use the strength of the shoulder blades and of the rotator cuff muscles to draw the shoulders down and back.

You hold it for the duration, then step out, and back up again.

Your challenge with the ball is to keep it in a stable position and not allow the ball to move at the beginning of the exercise. Your shoulder musculature has to work hard to hold the ball and control the ball.

wall plank exercise

Standing Wall Plank Exercise Variation with Controlled Movements

A variation of the wall plank exercise would be to make controlled movements of the ball. Control the movement of the ball in various directions:

  • To the right and back to center.
  • To the left and back to center.
  • Up and back to center.
  • Down and back to center.

You can even move up on diagonals, or make circles with the ball.

At any point, you start to feel stress in the back or any discomfort in the shoulders, that’s your body telling you that you did enough right now.

Come back and do it again in 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or 30 seconds. Those are standing wall plank exercise variations that you can do with the ball up against the wall.

Standing Wall Plank Exercise for Seniors and beginners with Stability Ball

A variation of the standing wall plank is to do the exercise with a stability ball for support. The standing wall plank exercise is one of the gentler variations of the plank against the wall because you place your hands on the ball for support and you are in a standing position. This wall plank exercise is appropriate for all levels including beginners and seniors.

Here are the instructions for the wall plank exercise with stability ball.

  • Place the ball just below shoulder height.
  • Point your hands in towards the wall.
  • Point fingers towards the wall.
  • Tuck shoulder blades down and back.
  • When you stand tall, you should feel a little pressure through the shoulders because you have to hold the ball in this position.
  • At this point the standing wall plank exercise does not involve a lot of core work.
  • To engage your core, take a step back about six inches back.
  • As you start to lean into the ball, you will feel your abdominals start to engage.

Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis

Exercise is an essential ingredient to bone health. If you have osteoporosis, therapeutic exercise needs to be part of your osteoporosis treatment program.

But what exercises should you do and which ones should you avoid? What exercises build bone and which ones reduce your chance of a fracture? Is Yoga good for your bones? Who should you trust when it comes to exercises for osteoporosis?

A great resource on exercise and osteoporosis is my free, seven day email course called Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis. After you provide your email address, you will receive seven consecutive online educational videos on bone health — one lesson each day. You can look at the videos at anytime and as often as you like.

I cover important topics related to osteoporosis exercise including:

  • Can exercise reverse osteoporosis?
  • Stop the stoop — how to avoid kyphosis and rounded shoulders.
  • Key components of an osteoporosis exercise program.
  • Key principles of bone building.
  • Exercises you should avoid if you have osteoporosis.
  • Yoga and osteoporosis — should you practice yoga if you have osteoporosis?
  • Core strength and osteoporosis — why is core strength important if you have osteoporosis?

Enter your email address and I will start you on this free course. I do not SPAM or share your email address (or any information) with third parties. You can unsubscribe from my mail list at any time.

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Standing Wall Plank Exercise Variation with Cushions for Support

Another standing wall plank exercise variation in my book, Strengthen Your Core, is to use the ball up onto and against a sofa.

Some of you might find that it too difficult to go from the standing wall plank to one with the sofa as a support.  To address this, you can double up the sofa cushions

Wall Plank Exercise • Pay Attention to Your Shoulders and Wrists

If you find that your shoulders and wrists are really uncomfortable in this position, then, by all means, you could certainly do the plank with your forearms up against the ball.

  1. Position as shown in the video.
  2. Forearms are shoulder width apart.
  3. Push into the ball as you step back.
  4. Keep your abdominals tight.

In this version I show how you can exercise at home using your sofa for support. I also show gentler variations of the same plank exercise.

Core Strengthening Exercises for Seniors

The standing wall plank exercise using the sofa for support is one of a number of plank core exercises from my book, Strengthen Your Core and my online course, Building a Stronger Core.

I cover several variations of this exercise in this blog post. The exercises are appropriate core strengthening exercises for seniors and beginners because they improve their core strength while allowing them to gradually increase the challenge in each variation. Let’s cover each variation.

Challenge #1

This basic challenge is a good starting core strengthening exercise for many seniors. Follow these steps:

  • Take a sofa cushion from your sofa and place it on top of the ottoman. This will reduce how far you have to reach down to the stability ball and make this plank easier to do.
  • Place another sofa cushion firmly against the wall or into the back of the sofa and use the back to support the ball.
  • Placing extra cushions in these locations should create a space of about eight inches between you and the wall.
  • During the gentler variation you allow the ball to rest into the back of the chair or into the back of the sofa.
  • Push into the ball.
  • Your fingers always push in the direction of the force.
  • Your force should be directed in a diagonal direction towards the back of the chair — almost where the chair and the cushion meet.
  • Engage your shoulder blades.
  • You should feel the pressure.
  • Take a half a step back.
  • You should feel a little more weight through your shoulders.
  • Control the ball and move it right and left.
  • You do not have to control all the directions of the ball because it’s resting up against the back of the sofa (or wall).
core strengthening exercises for seniors

Challenge #2

You can make any of the core strengthening exercises for seniors more challenging when you pull the ball away from the back of the sofa.

It is the exact same technique, but now you are going to have to control the ball when it is sitting slightly away from the back of the sofa. The back of the sofa is there in case you need backup. Here are the instructions for this variation:

  • Shift the stability ball forward away from the back of the sofa and rest it unsupported.
  • Step back.
  • Now your shoulders have a much greater load because you have to control the ball.
  • Move it back, forth, and side to side.
  • This requires a lot more effort both in the abdominal wall and through the shoulders.
  • You will hold your plank for the duration that is necessary for you.
  • Step out (or slightly forward) and stand in a relaxed stance.

Challenge #3

Now we’re going to progress the difficulty or challenge of this core strengthening plank exercise for seniors. Here are the instructions:

  • Remove the sofa pillow on top of the sofa or ottoman. This will lower height by about eight inches.
  • Put the ball up against the back of the sofa.
  • Make sure that everything feels good and that you are in control. You should be able to hold this for the duration of your pose.
  • When you are comfortable you can add to the challenge.
  • Move the ball two inches away from the back of the sofa.
  • Fingers are pointing down in the direction of your force.
  • You do not want your force going back or else that’s where the ball is going to go.
  • You want the force to be where you want the ball to stay.
  • Step back and draw your shoulder blades down and back.
  • Draw your hands firmly into the ball, long through the back of the neck.
  • If you wanted an additional challenge whether at this height or the other height, you can start gently rocking the ball to the left, to the right, even towards the back but don’t bring it too far this way in case it goes off the sofa.

Challenge #4

Here is another variation of the core strengthening exercises for seniors and beginners.

If you are comfortable with the plank and want add a challenge for the hip girdle or for your ankle, you could always transfer the weight to one foot and lift the other foot.

  • Lift your left foot off the floor.
  • If you’re not comfortable actually lifting the foot off, just the act of transferring the weight to one foot to one side and then transferring the weight to the other side adds to a great challenge that can be incorporated within this plank.

Strengthen Your Core

Strengthen Your Core is an exercise program designed for people at all levels to develop their core strength. There are over seventy poses presented in the program at four different levels: Beginner, Active, Athletic and Elite. The seventy poses have many variations. So the possibilities for you are almost endless!

But Strengthen Your Core is not about quantity of poses. There is one ideal pose for you and a progression of poses that will build your core strength. The goal of Strengthen Your Core is to find that ideal pose for you.

strengthen your core book Margaret Martin

Core Exercises Guide

Want to learn more about core exercises? Visit my Core Exercises Guide.


May 24, 2021 at 6:40pm


Hi there, i bought the book but how do i access the videos online? Thanks, Julie

May 25, 2021 at 9:34am

Richard Martin replies

Hi Julie. Sign into the Resources account you have on our site and follow the instructions in the video at the beginning of the resource page. Listed in the Resources is a link to the videos page on our site. The videos are hosted on YouTube.