The wall plank exercise using the wall for support is one of the core exercises in my Strengthen Your Core program. This variation is specifically designed as a core exercise for beginners but even if you are advanced, you might find it a challenge.
Wall Plank Exercise
Welcome to the beginner plank section.
Although I’d love to show all the planks, it would be take far too long to complete the whole set. Instead I’ve chosen to do plank number three (the wall plank exercise) and show you a number of variations — even from what I have listed in the book, Strengthen Your Core.
Wall Plank Exercise • Stability Ball
The wall plank exercise is one of the gentler variations of the plank against the wall because you place your hands on the ball. Here are the instructions for the wall plank exercise.
- 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 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.
Posture is Important in the Wall Plank Exercise
It is important at this point, if you want to stay strong through the shoulders, that you don’t round your back.
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.
With the ball, it’s a surface that wants to move, so the challenge for you is to not allow the ball to move initially. The shoulder musculature has to work hard to hold the ball and control the ball.
Once that gets comfortable, however, you can start being in control of the ball.
Let’s go back. Step back.
Wall Plank Exercise Variation • Controlled Movements
A variation of the wall plank exercise would be to make controlled movements of the ball.
I want to control the movement of the ball to the right, center, to the left, center, up, center, down, center.
You can even move up on diagonals, or I can start making circles with the ball.
At any point, when you’re doing this, if you’re starting to feel stress in the back, if you’re getting any discomfort in the shoulders, that’s your body telling you, “You know, you did enough right now.”
Come back and do it again in 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 30 seconds, take a little break, or another day. Those are variations that you can do with the ball up against the wall.
Wall Plank Exercise Variation • Cushions for Support
In my book, Strengthen Your Core, you have the variation of the main exercise where the ball is up onto a sofa.
Before getting all the way down to a sofa, some of you might find, “Well, that’s a big jump between a wall and the sofa.” You can actually take one of your sofa cushions off and double it up.
That’s the next one I’m going to show, doubling up the sofa cushions.
Wall Plank Exercise • Pay Attention to Your Shoulders and Wrists
Before going there, I just want to make one comment here.
If you’re finding 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.
- Again, positioning.
- Your forearms are shoulder width apart.
- You are going to be pushing into the ball as you step back.
- Keep your abdominals tight.
This would be your beginner level plank with the ball against the wall.
Again, the challenge, through the shoulder girdles, through the ankles, and, of course, through the abdominal wall.
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.
Core Exercises Guide
Want to learn more about core exercises? Visit my Core Exercises Guide.