How to Do a One-Legged Plank Exercise Properly

Once you can hold the standard plank for 60 seconds, it is time to challenge your core even more with the one-legged plank.

Planking on one leg is an intermediate plank variation and much harder to hold the plank formation than Keeling Plank or Plank Hold.

By lifting one leg up, you are reducing the center of gravity and placing more reliance on your core which foster core engagement.

Smarter Way to Advance Your Planks Than Holding Longer

When doing a plank challenge, many women shoot for planking longer. On mom blogs to pinterest pins, you see 30-day plank challenge pushing them to hold the plank longer each day they advance. While their planking records are impressive and no doubt show their determination, taking up the plank hold challenge yourself may not be the wisest move for your body. Here is why. 

Plank is a core exercise that engages your entire core which includes the rectus abdominals, transverse abdominis, obliques and lower back. Holding your plank position requires engagement of all those muscles, and in fact, that’s what makes the plank exercise incredibly effective. 

That being said, If you are truly planking (engaging the entire core), your core muscles get fatigue after 30 seconds or so. Holding for 60 seconds should be the longest you aim for the sake of your core. If you attempt to plank any longer than a minute, your body starts to compensate by utilizing other body parts such as lower back, shoulders, elbows, and ankles to hang on to the position and make up for the lack of core support. 

This can cause back pain, poor posture and muscle imbalances. Not what you thought you’d get from the Plank Challenge. 

So What’s a Better Way to Advance Your Planks? 

Moving up the plank variation ladder is the smart and safe way to continuously challenge your core with planks. By increasing the difficulty of the plank exercise itself, you can effectively challenge your core, balance, and strength without compensating other parts of your body such as lower back and shoulders. 

With Single-Leg Plank, you will be balancing and supporting your body on one leg versus two. This will make it more difficult supporting your body and maintaining the body alignment when planking. It is recommended that you gain enough core strength to perform the standard plank for 60 seconds before advancing to One-Leg Plank. 

Read More: 7-Day Plank Challenge: 7 Plank Variations to Challenge Your Core

While there are countless plank variations out there, we listed 7 plank variations from easy to hard. Take this 7-Day Plank Challenge to strengthen your core. One word of caution is your goal should remain 60 seconds for all plank variations. 

Planking for Weight Loss, Fat Loss and Six Pack Abs?

If your goal is to lose weight, burn fat and get six-pack abs, performing dynamic plank exercises such as Push-ups and Renegade Rows give you more “bang for your buck”. Their dynamic nature burns more calories and fat by creating the Afterburn Effect, which triggers your body to continuously burn calories even after your workout. 

Exercise Table

Hold2-3HardGym or Home

How to Plank On One-leg


A. Start out laying on your forearms and stomach. Tighten your abs and lift your hips so that only your forearms and toes are touching the floor. 

B. Raise your right leg toward the ceiling as high as you can. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.

Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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