Long Lever Planks Explode Core Strength & Sculpt Chiseled Abs

long lever plank for a shredded core

Long lever planks will make the upper ab muscles pop. 

The plank is an isometric bodyweight exercise that engages muscles throughout your body (1). This exercise is particularly effective for developing a strong core, which is crucial for overall performance. Consider trying the long lever plank for an even more challenging variation.

After reaching an advanced level of training, planks can start to feel monotonous. Additionally, sticking to the same daily routine can lead to a plateau in progress. To overcome this, incorporating long lever planks into your workout can be highly beneficial. Not only will it help you break free from the training monotony, but it will also provide a fresh challenge to enhance your fitness journey further.

In this exercise guide, we share more benefits of the long lever plank and how to do this exercise. You’ll also find other great core-building alternatives to the regular plank. 

Techniques & Muscles Worked

Like traditional planks, the long lever plank works on your upper body, core, and lower body muscles. This exercise activates the upper body’s biceps, triceps, traps, lats, chest, rhomboids, and delts to hold your bodyweight up. Your abs and obliques are the core muscles this exercise builds while it engages the quads, glutes, and hamstrings in the lower body. 

You don’t need any equipment to do the long lever plank, although using a weighted vest can make it more challenging. Below is a step-by-step guide to doing the long lever plank. 

  1. Get on the exercise mat or floor and lie down with your forearms under you. 
  2. Move your elbows to a position underneath your face but not directly under your shoulders. Your palms should be facing down.
  3. Rise to your toes by engaging your torso and abs. Ensure that you keep your hips and stomach off the floor. 
  4. Squeeze your glutes and legs to keep your body in line, and hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Increase to 20, 30, 45, and 60 seconds over time.


The long lever plank is an advanced variation of the plank. So, if you’re looking to switch out your planks for something more challenging, this is the routine for you. Below are more benefits of this exercise. 

More Core Activation 

Long lever planks activate your core muscles better than regular planks. In this research on nineteen subjects, the long lever plank showed greater abs activation, particularly the upper abdominals, and other abdominal stabilizing muscles (2)

Better Performance

Your core affects your posture and the form of many exercises. The long lever plank works on and strengthens your core muscles. A stronger core means better form and better performance for other exercises. 

Greater Arm Strength

During the long lever plank, the load on your arms dramatically increases. After doing this movement for some time, you’ll notice increased arm strength, translating to better performance in exercises like pullups and pushups

Improved Balance & Stability

The long lever plank is so effective because it uses your core for stability, improving your athletic performance.

Greater Mind Muscle Connection

Long lever planks will teach you how to focus. You’ll need it to stay stable and keep from falling during planks. As a result, you’ll build a greater mind-muscle connection in general, which research shows is effective for building muscles during resistance training (3)

Carryover to Other Core Routines

Athletes generally recognize the long lever plank as the master plank. This is because it is one of the hardest planks to do. Doing this plank regularly will improve your form for other types of plank and other core routines. 

Lower Injury Risk

Many other exercises that work on your core tend to load up your spine, increasing your risk of injury. Planks like the long lever plank remove this risk as they are body weight and don’t overload your spine. In addition, a stronger core reduces the risk of developing lower back pain

Long Lever Plank Alternatives

The long lever plank is an effective full-body exercise to add to your routine. However, many more plank variations and movements can fire your core muscles. Below are some of these exercises.

Turkish Get Up

The Turkish get up is an effective full-body exercise that builds your core. It increases strength in your abs and also improves your hip mobility. You can do the Turkish get up with your bodyweight or use dumbbells or kettlebells

Mountain Climber

The mountain climber is a great exercise that combines a plank with knee movements. As a result, this exercise is excellent for stability and balance. It also works on your core muscle and increases its strength.

Side Plank with Rotation

The side plank with rotation makes the traditional plank more challenging and targets your shoulders, arms, and obliques. Doing a long lever plank could lead to better form with this routine. 


What do long lever planks work?

Long lever planks work primarily on your core while activating the upper and lower body muscles. For a more specific breakdown, check the guide above. 

Can planks burn belly fat?

Planks are effective for strengthening your core and sculpting your abs. However, to burn fat, you need a good diet, exercise, and to eat within a calorie deficit. 

How do you do a lever plank?

Doing a lever plank is similar to doing the traditional plank. However, with this exercise, your elbows should be under your face, not your shoulders. For more detailed step-by-step instructions, check the guide above. 

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  1. Youdas, J. W., Coleman, K. C., Holstad, E. E., Long, S. D., Veldkamp, N. L., & Hollman, J. H. (2018). Magnitudes of muscle activation of spine stabilizers in healthy adults during prone on elbow planking exercises with and without a fitness ball. Physiotherapy theory and practice, 34(3), 212–222. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2017.1377792
  2. Schoenfeld, B. J., Contreras, B., Tiryaki-Sonmez, G., Willardson, J. M., & Fontana, F. (2014). An electromyographic comparison of a modified version of the plank with a long lever and posterior tilt versus the traditional plank exercise. Sports biomechanics, 13(3), 296–306. https://doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2014.942355
  3. Calatayud, J., Vinstrup, J., Jakobsen, M. D., Sundstrup, E., Brandt, M., Jay, K., Colado, J. C., & Andersen, L. L. (2016). Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training. European journal of applied physiology, 116(3), 527–533. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3305-7
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.