Straight Arm Plank vs Bent Arm Plank

Last Updated: November 25, 2020
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The Home Gym Review Squad

Naturally, when faced with options to choose from, we want to choose the option that gives the most results. This also applies to exercising, you need to choose the best option. So you ask yourself, straight arm plank vs bent arm, which is best for your work-out? 

Well, the answer to this shall depend on your exercise needs and goals, that is, the exact part of your body that you need to improve. In case you have gone through other material offline or online, most suggest that straight arm planks are harder than the bent arm, while others disagree. 

So straight arm plank vs bent arm plank? What parts train harder or lesser in either of the exercises? Let's unlock this month and get facts to train better. 

Straight Arm Plank vs Bent Arm Plank

The direct answer here is both are good for your body. Exercising your core with varied styles of plunges makes it better compared to specializing with a single style. However, it is good to understand the nature and benefits of each. Let's explore each to enable you to pick. 

Straight Arm Plank 

The straight arm plank is the pioneer of all styles of planks. Being the most basic, it more comfortable and can even be combined with other challenges such as torso rotation. The straight arm plank covers more than just your core. 

It goes further to train your shoulders and arms using the weight of your body.  You shall get an easy time working straight arm planks than bent arm plank.  

Straight arm planks however put some considerable strain on the wrists during holding. Straight arm planks also need a lot of balancing since the whole arm is involved, the elbow joint has to be taken care of not to hyperextend. In the process of such balancing, you also get to train your arm muscles.  

Why are straight arm planks easier? 

Since more arm muscles shall be involved in sharing the weight of your body with your core, the straight arm plunge tends to go a little bit easy on the core. Still, boxing muscles, those below the armpits are also engaged during straight arm plunges, making the weight further distributed and therefore less strain on the core.  

Straight arm planks train the shoulder more  

The fact that straight arm planks make your upper body, especially your shoulder blades higher, make considerable weight to be handled by your shoulder blades. The result is more trained shoulder blades. Your arms draw energy from the girdle making its stability an important tool.  

Generally, straight arm planks tend to activate most of the body muscles at a go.

Bent Arm Planks 

Elbow planks are widely said to be ‘harder.' However, the basic reason is that they concentrate the weight more on your core rather than distributing it. By the fact that your hands are bent, your shoulders come down making the body relatively parallel to the ground. In such a posture, core muscles are activated more while the shoulder blades and arm muscles relax a little.  

Since the hands are folded, your wrists are completely at rest during the bent arm planks. Overall, folded arm planks mobilize more of your abdominal muscles therefore making your core strong and balanced. 

You could also read about how many planks to do a day to see results.

Straight Arm Plank vs Bent Arm Plank – Comparison 

Straight arm plank vs bent arm, which is better? After touching on the benefits and downsides of both, we can now proceed and help you choose the best. Our advice is that you shall need both at some time for full-body training. We shall help you know which to go for and when.  

When to go for straight arm planks 

Choose straight arm planks when you need to train your core, but lightly without much strain. As explained earlier, straight arm planks shall lift a considerable portion of the burden from your core and is therefore easier. 

Go for them when you need you to want minimal strain for your back, especially for individuals with too much weight or back issues. However, if you have either back issues of too much weight, we won't advise starting exercising without professional advice and maybe monitoring. 

For beginners, straight arm planks are where to begin. Since the weight is distributed to more muscles of the body, they tend to be easier and shall give you a starting point.  

If you're planning to make twists and other movements while planning, this is your best bet. Since the body isn't that much strained, you shall forward and it easy to rotate your torso and so on.  

When you want to train your shoulder and arms, go for straight arm planks. As explained earlier, your shoulder blade shall hold weight in the straight arm position that the bent one. The arms including the elbow joint and arm muscles are engaged. 

Generally, straight arm plunges tend to engage almost all your body muscles and are therefore good for full-body training rather than core. 

When to go for bent arm plank  

Bent arm plunges shall give you the best you need to go hard in training your core. If you are targeting to develop your abs, bent arm plunges shall help you achieve it faster, however, more strain is to be expected at your torso. 

Tired of wrist strains caused by straight arm plunges? Start bent arm plunges to let your core muscles work as you rest your wrist. 

Observe This While Doing Your Plunges 

Ensure you have a quality training carpet, especially for bent arm plunges. Arms tend to strain a lot on a thin carpet making you tire easily and train poorly. This training carpet is so far the best when it comes to plunges and other bodyweight exercises. 

Straight Arm Plank vs Bent Arm Plank – Conclusion

Straight arm planks vs bent arm planks, which is which? From the above, you shall agree with us that both have their own unique advantages. The core is specially catered for by bent arm plunges while the whole body can get a breath of fresh was from the straight arm plank. 

Alternating between the two shall give you the best overall results. Remember to always use the best grade training carpet to avoid injuries and extend your training time.

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