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Which Will Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

Both planks and push-ups are hall-of-fame workout moves. They can be done nearly anywhere because you don’t need any equipment, and you don’t need any more space than the amount you take up lengthwise.

Planks and push-ups are part of many people’s workout routines. But is one move better than the other? We wanted to find out if one of these exercises can do more to help you achieve your fitness goals than the other—so we spoke to trainers Danielle Cote and Cassie Ellis, who gave us lots of information about each. Read on to learn about the benefits of each exercise and to find out if one is a better choice for you and your fitness goals.

Danielle Cote is the training development manager for Pure Barre.

Cassie Ellis is a coach for Row House.

Planks vs. Push-Ups

There’s no question both planks and push-ups are beneficial workout moves and our trainers think each has a place in your fitness routine. “While each individual may have varying fitness goals, both planks and push-ups offer excellent benefits and are great contenders for just about any workout routine,” says Cote. “Planks will work the core, rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, serratus anterior, and glutes. For most, push-ups are considered more intense and more effective at increasing muscular endurance, building muscle, and developing cardiovascular health.”

Ellis agrees, noting that “it is [beneficial] to include both moves in workouts. The plank holds the body steady, working the core endurance, while the push-up provides both concentric and eccentric movement, meaning the muscles contract and lengthen while continuing to hold a load (in this case, the load is your body weight) while working core stabilization.”

That said, there is one important caveat: Planks are easier for beginners than push-ups, which may make them a better bet. And because push-ups are harder, they may be more beneficial to those who are advanced in their fitness journeys. “To execute a push-up, you need to be able to hold a solid plank, so start with the plank and then progress to push-ups,” advises Ellis. “Each move can benefit all individuals as long as they are…


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