ln247 logo
ln247 logo

Bear Plank, a very good core exercise

The bear plank is a beginner to intermediate level bodyweight exercise that targets the muscles in your hips, glutes, and core region. It’s an excellent exercise for balance and core stabilization. Since it allows you to fire-up your core muscles, the bear plank is a great addition to an abdominal workout, especially since it’s really good at engaging the lower abdominal muscles. You can also add the bear plank to a dynamic warm-up routine to help activate upper and lower body muscles prior to cardio exercises such as running or cycling or before lifting weights.

The best part of the bear plank is that it doesn’t require any equipment, but it may help to have a exercise mat for more comfort.

While the bear plank is relatively safe, always consult your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise routine.

Muscles targeted with the bear plank

While you may think of your core as the six-pack muscles, the full extent of your core musculature includes the deeper abdominal muscles, as well the muscles along your spine.

Many of these core muscles keep your spine from twisting or bending to the side when performing everyday movements and athletic activities.

Specifically, these muscles include the external and internal obliques, which are the muscles on either side of your torso that connect your hips and ribs. Plank variations also activate the transverse abdominis, which runs horizontally beneath your obliques and rectus abdominis.

Collectively, research shows that the comprehensive strengthening of these core muscles reduces symptoms of low back pain and injury risk, as well as increases athletic performance.

Bear plank form and variations

The bear plank is part of a range of core strengthening exercises that include regressions and progressions, meaning easier or harder variations, respectively.

The bear plank is a beginner to intermediate plank variation that allows many options for increasing or decreasing the difficulty to provide you the proper challenge for your current fitness level.

Standard bear plank

The standard bear plank is appropriate for most individuals with some core training experience and no injuries.

To perform the bear plank:

  1. Begin on your hands and knees with your feet flexed and toes on the floor.
  2. Press into the ground to activate your shoulder and chest muscles. Your weight should be evenly distributed across your fingers, palms, and the heels of your hand.
  3. Engage your glutes to slightly tuck your tailbone.
  4. Contract your abdominals by taking a full breath and drawing them in as if you’re bracing for a punch. The bottom of your ribs should move slightly toward your pelvis.
  5. Lift your knees about 1 inch (2.54 cm) so that they’re floating just above the ground. Keep your chin and head in a neutral position, with your eyes fixed on the floor directly beneath your head.
  6. Breathe in and out in a controlled manner while maintaining your brace. Your lower and mid-back should be slightly rounded. Avoid arching your back or letting your stomach drop toward the floor.
  7. Hold this position for at least 20 seconds. As you practice this exercise, work to hold it for 3 sets of 60 seconds.
  8. Perform the sets 2–3 times per week as part of your overall fitness routine.

Bear plank benefits

As mentioned, the biggest benefit of the bear plank variations is improved activation of the transverse abdominis and oblique muscles.

Along with the six-pack rectus abdominis muscles, these deeper core stabilizers protect your spine and improve the overall stability of your lower back.

Traditional exercises such as crunches do not activate these deep core muscles to the same degree, and they’re less useful for practical core strength. Additionally, some individuals might find sit-ups and crunches exacerbate, rather than improve, low back pain.

Finally, studies suggest that core exercises like planks and their variations directly translate to improved performance and reduced injuries during field sports that involve complex, dynamic movements with speed and resistance

With the massive number of core exercises available online, you might feel overwhelmed when planning your core training routine.

While variety in your training is important, plank variations like the bear plank and related movements are must-have exercises for a comprehensive training plan.

The bear plank offers many options for decreasing and increasing the difficulty. Once you’re competent with the static hold variations, progressing to dynamic bear plank variations is a great method to warm up your entire body before other types of exercise.

Overall, bear planks are more effective at improving stability and performance, as well as reducing injury risk and chronic low back pain, than many other ab exercises. Consider adding one of the bear plank variations to your core training routine.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

For Advert Placements, Email: info@ln247.news

Latest Articles