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August 15, 2023 6 min read

Six-packs and strong core muscles are synonymous, and there is an endless list of ways to strengthen the core. Planks are one of the most effective exercises to get you to those chiseled abs. However, there are many plank variations, and in this article, we'll look at the Spiderman plank, which is one of the most effective versions to work not only the abs but also multiple other muscle groups.

Why is a strong core so important? 

Harvard Medical School explains it like this:

“No matter where motion starts, it ripples upward and downward to adjoining links of the chain. Thus, weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well your arms and legs function. And that saps power from many of the moves you make. Properly building up your core cranks up the power. A strong core also enhances balance and stability. Thus, it can help prevent falls and injuries during sports or other activities. In fact, a strong, flexible core underpins almost everything you do.”

So, whether you are doing what you do at the gym or giving the kitchen floor a quick once over with the mop, core strength will matter.

What is the Spiderman Plank Exercise?

The Spiderman plank is a whole-body exercise that requires no equipment. It is a version that transforms the ordinary plank into an explosive core exercise. It is more advanced and progresses from the usual prone traditional plank position, making it a tough but effective dynamic exercise. If you're working on getting that envied six-pack, the Spiderman plank deserves a spot in your core workout routine.

A Spiderman plank is a bodyweight exercise that activates multiple major muscle groups, and it can even serve as a warm-up exercise before your main exercises. The Spiderman plank can prepare your body for cardio exercises and intense physical loads like strength training.

Muscles Worked by the Spiderman Plank

The Spiderman plank works all the muscles of the core, which is a collective term for the midsection muscles. They encircle the waist but also stabilize the spine.

The primary muscles that make up the core are:

1. Rectus abdominis

The rectus abdominis is a pair of muscles located on the front of your abdomen, stretching from your ribs to the front of your pelvis. The rectus abdominis is also called the abs for short. Working out these muscles, and maintaining a lean body, makes them form bumps and lines, which give your abs their six-pack appearance.

The rectus abdominis' primary function is to stabilize and flex the trunk and spine. It helps you to lift your hips, and bend forward while also stabilizing a variety of movements through the entire body.

2. Obliques

You have two sets of oblique muscles, located diagonally on both sides of the waist. They form a connection with the top of the hip bone, the ribs, the lower back, and the fascia of the abdominals. 

The external obliques run diagonally downward between the lower ribs and pelvis, wrapping around the sides of the waist. The external obliques are the most superficial. Beneath them, you'll find the internal obliques, running diagonally in the opposite direction between the pelvis and lower ribs. 

The obliques play significant roles in trunk flexion and rotation.

Movements they facilitate include lateral flexion of the spine, side bending, and torso rotation.

When you do Spiderman planks, the obliques help prevent your hips from twisting while they stabilize your spine.

3. Transverse abdominis

The Transversus abdominis (TrA) muscle is a broad sheet of muscle fiber that comprises the deepest layer of all the abdominal muscles. It connects to the ribs and the top of the pubic bone. With its fibers running horizontally, the TrA wraps the trunk from the front to the back, reminding one of a back support belt.

The TrA muscle is the primary stabilizer of the core.

A strong, properly working Transversus abdominis plays a significant role in spine support and proper posture and helps decrease back pain.

4. Quads, Glutes, and Hip Flexors

Although the Spiderman plank exercise targets all the core muscles, keeping the hips and knees extended requires the activation of the quadriceps, glutes, and hip flexors. You might not even feel these lower-body muscles working because the tension on them is relatively low when doing Spiderman planks.

5. Upper-Body Muscles

No wonder Spiderman planks are regarded as full-body exercises. Because they are performed in a push-up position, strong triceps, shoulder muscles, and chest muscles are essential. Whether you choose to do Spiderman planks resting on your forearms or with straight arms, your upper-body muscles must provide support and maintain the correct posture. 

How to do Spiderman Planks with Proper Form

Spiderman plank workouts are challenging but effective. While the regular plank is a static exercise, Spiderman planks involve dynamic movements, making your core work extra hard. Spiderman planks are also known as Knee Pull-In Planks. 

Starting Position:

  • Start on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Place your forearms shoulder-width apart on the floor, ensuring they are parallel, and your elbows are directly in line with your shoulders.

  • Extend your legs and press the balls of your feet into the floor. 

  • Brace your core while you engage your chest, shoulders, and arms to lift your hips to let your body form a straight line from head to heels.

  • Keep your gaze toward the floor, the shoulders rigid behind the ears, and the chest open.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Take a deep breath and exhale as you bend your right leg to move your thigh out from below your body, and pull your right knee forward to touch the outside of your right elbow. 

  2. Breathe in while you return your right leg to the starting position.

  3. Exhale as you repeat the movement with the left leg to bring your left knee to the outside of your left elbow.

  4. Do the required number of reps, or, beginners can do repetitions for 30 seconds, working toward 60 seconds as they progress.

  5. Note: You can do Spiderman planks in a high plank position, resting your weight on your hands with your arms straightened, or in the forearm plank position described here.

    Common Mistakes Made When Performing Spiderman Planks

    —Dipping the hips and arching the back: Keeping the body in a straight line is important because arching the back will not work the muscles typically targeted with Spiderman planks. With an arched back, you'll fail to properly activate the core and the glutes, thereby compromising the lower back.

    —Rounding the back: This adds unnecessary strain on the upper back and shoulders, moving the focus away from the core.  With a rounded back, it is impossible to maintain proper alignment of the torso, hips, and legs. 

    —Lifting or dropping the head: Again, keeping the back straight is crucial. The spine connects to the head, and any head movements affect the spinal column.  Lifting the head to look up, or dropping the head shifts the focus from the targeted core muscles to those in the lower back. 

    —Forgetting to maintain fluid movements: Bringing your knee toward your elbow should never be a jerking movement. Doing it in slow fluid movement will tax your core muscles more, so you have a better chance of achieving the desired results.

    —Holding Your Breath: It is never easy to breathe while bracing your core. However, proper breathing while doing Superman planks is essential to ensure your muscles receive enough oxygen to maintain the performance of this exercise. 

    What are the Benefits of Spiderman Planks?

    Spiderman planks offer multiple benefits, including the following:

    1. Improves Core Strength 

    Spiderman planks improve core strength, flexibility, and mobility, which is crucial for most exercises and everyday activities 

    2. Improves Range of Motion

    The core assists in movement, power, strength, and endurance. The range of motion benefits of Superman planks includes spiral and pelvic stabilization and strengthening of the abs, obliques, rectus abdominis, and Transversus abdominis. 

    3. Improves Posture

    The many hours most people spend behind desks have a detrimental impact on their posture and gait. Spiderman plank is an effective dynamic exercise that can reduce risks of your lifestyle affecting your posture negatively.

    4. Improves Body Alignment

    Spiderman Planks not only helps with body alignment but also with identifying and addressing asymmetries or weak areas by alternating the use of muscles on both sides of the body.


    Incorporating Spiderman plank exercises into your core workouts is an excellent challenge that can take your fitness journey to the next level. Along with other exercises like crunches, cardio HIIT, climbers, side plank, sit-ups, and squats; these movements will build a strong core that will support proper balance and posture.

    As a bonus, you’ll burn extra calories and build endurance for daily activities to experience significant physical improvements in no time. Keep in mind that your body requires more than just physical activity to maintain its health. A well-balanced diet is a crucial component of your workouts, and incorporating a premium protein shake is always a beneficial approach.