This Is How Many Calories You Burn While Planking

Planks are a full-body strength training exercise that can also burn serious calories — but don't expect them to be your best weight-loss method, since it's hard to build up enough time in a plank to burn an effective amount of calories. Rather, use them as one tool in your calorie-burning toolbox.

Depending on your weight and body composition, you can expect to burn between two and five calories per minute in a plank posture, which will not add up to much, considering few people hold a plank for a full minute (via Healthline).

To increase your calorie burn, you can add movement to your planks, by doing things like the plank drag. Put a towel under your toes and use your arms to drag your body across a linoleum floor, while maintaining a good plank posture (via Health Magazine). Alternatively, you could add in leg raises while holding a plank, or switch between side planks, shifting onto your right foot and arm, then switching to the left (via Healthline).

Why should someone do planks for weight loss?

The good news is that while planks themselves may not be enough to burn significant calories, they're an effective way to quickly work most of the major muscle groups in your body, helping tone and strengthen muscles. But proper form counts: If you're not focusing on maintaining proper posture during your plank, you won't get the strengthening benefits, just the minimal caloric burn (via Healthline).

To make a plank a more efficient, make sure that you're contracting your abs while holding the position, personal trainer Max Lowery told Business Insider. "Contract your abs as hard as you can, by that I mean tense as if someone's going to punch you in the stomach," he explains.

In addition to building muscle, doing planks throughout the day can also boost your metabolism; although calories burned during a plank may not be many, your overall extra caloric burn for the day may increase (via Lifehack).