how many calories does one minute plank burn

In the ever-evolving world of fitness, there is always a new exercise trend capturing the attention of fitness enthusiasts. One such exercise that has gained significant popularity is the plank. From social media influencers to fitness trainers, planks have become a staple in many workout routines. But what is it about this seemingly simple exercise that has captured the attention of so many? And how many calories does a 1 minute plank burn?

As individuals strive to maximize their calorie burn during workouts, understanding the potential calorie-burning effects of different exercises becomes crucial. So, let’s dive into the science behind calorie burning and explore the impact of planks on this aspect of fitness.

Understanding Calorie Burning

What are calories?

Before we delve into the specifics of calorie burning during planks, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of what calories are. In simple terms, calories are a unit of energy. They represent the amount of energy released when our bodies metabolize food and convert it into usable energy. In the context of fitness, calories are often associated with the energy expended during physical activity.

Factors that affect calorie burning

The number of calories burned during exercise depends on various factors. Body weight, gender, and intensity of the exercise are some key factors that influence calorie burning. Generally, individuals with higher body weight tend to burn more calories during physical activity. Men typically burn more calories than women due to differences in body composition and muscle mass. Additionally, the intensity of the exercise plays a significant role in calorie burning, as more intense activities require higher energy expenditure.

Calorie burning during exercise

When it comes to exercise, it’s important to understand that the number of calories burned is not solely determined by the exercise itself. The duration of the activity is also a crucial factor in determining overall calorie burn. Longer exercise sessions generally result in a higher total calorie expenditure. Additionally, the type of exercise and the muscles involved also impact calorie burning. While cardiovascular exercises like running and cycling are known for their calorie-burning benefits, strength training exercises, such as planks, can also contribute to calorie burn, albeit in a different way.

The Plank Exercise

How to perform a plank

Before we delve into the calorie-burning potential of planks, let’s take a moment to understand how to perform this exercise correctly. The plank is a static exercise that primarily targets the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. To perform a plank, start by assuming a push-up position with your forearms resting on the ground, elbows aligned with your shoulders. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels, engaging your core muscles throughout the exercise. Hold this position for a predetermined amount of time, usually starting with shorter durations and gradually increasing as your strength improves.

Muscles worked during a plank

While planks are renowned for their ability to strengthen the core muscles, they also engage several other muscle groups. In addition to the core, planks target the shoulders, glutes, and quadriceps. This full-body engagement makes planks an efficient exercise for overall strength development.

Benefits of planks beyond calorie burning

Although many individuals are drawn to planks for their calorie-burning potential, it’s important to recognize that this exercise offers numerous other benefits. Planks help improve posture, stability, and balance. By strengthening the core muscles, planks can assist in reducing the risk of injuries and promoting a healthy spine. Moreover, planks can enhance overall athletic performance by improving core stability, which is essential for sports activities and functional movements.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we will explore the research and studies on calorie burning during planks, and estimate the potential calorie burn during a 1-minute plank.

Understanding Calorie Burning

When it comes to fitness and exercise, understanding how calorie burning works is crucial. Calories play a significant role in our energy balance and body weight management. In this section, we will dive into the concept of calorie burning, exploring what calories are, the factors that affect calorie burning, and how exercise contributes to this process.

What are calories?

Calories are a unit of measurement used to quantify the energy content of food and the energy expended by the body. Technically, a calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. However, when we talk about calories in the context of nutrition and exercise, we are referring to kilocalories, also known as Calories (with a capital “C”).

In the context of nutrition, Calories are used to measure the energy content of the food we consume. Different nutrients provide varying amounts of energy per gram. For instance, carbohydrates and proteins provide around 4 Calories per gram, while fats provide approximately 9 Calories per gram. By consuming food, we are supplying our bodies with the energy needed to carry out various physiological functions.

Factors that affect calorie burning

Several factors influence the number of calories burned by an individual. These factors include:

  1. Basal metabolic rate (BMR): BMR refers to the number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions at rest, such as breathing, circulating blood, and maintaining body temperature. BMR is influenced by factors such as age, sex, body composition, and genetics.
  2. Physical activity level: The more physically active you are, the more calories you burn. Engaging in activities such as walking, running, swimming, or even everyday tasks like cleaning or gardening can significantly contribute to calorie expenditure.
  3. Body composition: Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. Therefore, individuals with a higher proportion of muscle mass tend to have a higher metabolic rate and burn more calories.
  4. Intensity and duration of exercise: The intensity and duration of exercise play a role in determining the number of calories burned. Higher-intensity activities typically result in a greater calorie burn per unit of time.
  5. Individual differences: Each person’s metabolism is unique, and factors such as age, sex, and genetics can affect how efficiently they burn calories.

Calorie burning during exercise

Exercise is an excellent way to burn calories and contribute to weight management. When we engage in physical activity, our bodies require additional energy to power our muscles and perform the movements. This increased energy demand leads to a higher calorie burn.

The number of calories burned during exercise depends on various factors, including the type of activity, duration, intensity, and the individual’s body weight. Aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling, or swimming, are known for their calorie-burning benefits. However, even strength training exercises, like weightlifting, can contribute to calorie burning by building lean muscle mass, which increases overall metabolic rate.

It is important to note that the number of calories burned during exercise varies from person to person. The intensity at which an individual performs an activity, their fitness level, and their body composition all play a role in determining calorie expenditure.

Understanding the factors that affect calorie burning and how exercise contributes to this process is essential for those seeking to manage their weight, improve fitness levels, or simply lead a healthy lifestyle. In the next sections, we will explore how these concepts apply specifically to the plank exercise and shed light on the number of calories burned during a 1-minute plank.

Now that we have a solid foundation on calorie burning, let’s move on to the next section and delve into the Plank Exercise.

The Plank Exercise

How to perform a plank

The plank exercise is a simple yet highly effective exercise that targets multiple muscle groups while engaging the core. To perform a plank, follow these steps:

  1. Start by positioning yourself face-down on the floor, resting on your forearms and toes.
  2. Ensure that your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders, and your arms are parallel to each other.
  3. Engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button inward toward your spine.
  4. Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels, avoiding any sagging or arching in your back.
  5. Hold this position for the desired duration, typically starting with 30 seconds and gradually increasing as you build strength and endurance.

Muscles worked during a plank

Planks are renowned for their ability to target and strengthen multiple muscle groups simultaneously. While primarily known for engaging the core muscles, planks also work the following muscle groups:

  1. Rectus Abdominis: Located along the front of the abdomen, these muscles contribute to a toned and defined midsection.
  2. Obliques: These muscles run along the sides of the abdomen and assist with rotational movements and waist stabilization.
  3. Transverse Abdominis: The deepest layer of abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis helps stabilize the spine and maintain proper posture.
  4. Erector Spinae: Situated along the spine, these muscles aid in maintaining an upright posture and spinal stability.
  5. Glutes: Planks engage the gluteal muscles, including the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, which play a crucial role in hip stability and lower body strength.
  6. Shoulders: Planks activate the muscles of the shoulders, including the deltoids and trapezius, improving upper body strength and stability.

Benefits of planks beyond calorie burning

While calorie burning is a significant factor in any exercise routine, planks offer a multitude of benefits beyond just burning calories. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Core Strength: Planks are renowned for their ability to strengthen the core muscles, including the abs, obliques, and lower back. A strong core improves posture, stability, and overall functional strength.
  2. Improved Posture: By engaging the muscles responsible for maintaining proper alignment, planks can help correct poor posture habits and reduce the risk of back pain.
  3. Enhanced Balance and Stability: Planks require a strong and stable core, which translates to improved balance and stability in daily activities and sports.
  4. Injury Prevention: Strengthening the core and surrounding muscles through planks can help prevent injuries by providing better support and stability to the spine and joints.
  5. Increased Flexibility: Holding a plank position requires engaging various muscle groups, leading to improved flexibility and range of motion over time.
  6. Time-Efficient Workout: Planks can be performed virtually anywhere and require no equipment, making them a convenient exercise option for those with busy lifestyles or limited access to a gym.

Incorporating planks into your fitness routine can yield a myriad of benefits, making them an excellent addition to any exercise program. So, why not give them a try and experience the positive impact they can have on your overall fitness journey?

If you’re interested in learning about the calorie burning potential of other activites, check out these articles on how many calories does surfing burn or how many calories does driving burn.

Calorie Burning During a 1-Minute Plank

Research and studies on calorie burning during planks

When it comes to the effectiveness of planks in burning calories, numerous researchers and fitness enthusiasts have delved into the topic. While most studies primarily focus on the benefits of planks for core strength and stability, some have also explored the calorie-burning potential of this popular exercise.

One study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that, on average, participants burned approximately 4.34 calories per minute while performing a plank. Although this number may seem relatively low compared to other high-intensity exercises, it is important to note that planks primarily target the core muscles rather than being a purely cardiovascular exercise.

Another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effects of various plank variations on calorie burning. The researchers discovered that performing dynamic planks, such as plank jacks or plank push-ups, increased the calorie-burning potential compared to traditional static planks. By incorporating movements that engage additional muscle groups, these variations can elevate the overall intensity of the exercise, leading to a higher calorie burn.

In the next section, we will explore other factors to consider when examining the effectiveness of planks for calorie burning, including intensity variations and complementary exercises. Stay tuned!

Continue reading: How Many Calories Does Donating Plasma Burn or How Many Calories Does Surfing Burn

Other Factors to Consider

Intensity and Variations of Planks

When it comes to calorie burning during a plank, the intensity of the exercise plays a crucial role. The more effort you put into maintaining proper form and engaging your core muscles, the more calories you are likely to burn. By challenging yourself with longer hold times and incorporating variations into your plank routine, you can increase the intensity and maximize the calorie-burning potential.

There are various ways to increase the intensity of your planks. One option is to perform elevated planks, where you place your hands or feet on an elevated surface such as a stability ball or a bench. This variation engages your muscles in a different way and requires more stability, leading to greater calorie expenditure. Another option is to try plank jacks, which involve jumping your feet in and out while maintaining a plank position. This dynamic movement elevates your heart rate and boosts calorie burning.

Individual Differences in Calorie Burning

It’s important to remember that individual differences can influence the number of calories burned during a 1-minute plank. Factors such as age, weight, muscle mass, and overall fitness level can all impact the rate at which you burn calories. Generally, individuals with a higher body weight or more muscle mass tend to burn more calories during exercise.

However, it’s worth noting that the primary goal of planks is not solely focused on calorie burning. While they can contribute to overall calorie expenditure, planks are primarily a core strengthening exercise that helps improve stability, posture, and functional movement. So, even if you’re not burning an excessive number of calories during a 1-minute plank, you’re still reaping numerous other benefits for your body.

Complementary Exercises for Calorie Burning

If your main objective is to burn calories, incorporating complementary exercises into your workout routine can help you achieve your goals more effectively. While planks are fantastic for targeting the core muscles, combining them with other exercises can provide a more well-rounded calorie-burning workout.

Consider incorporating cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming into your routine. These activities elevate your heart rate and increase calorie burning throughout your entire body. Additionally, strength training exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups can help build lean muscle mass, which in turn can boost your metabolism and overall calorie burning even at rest.

Remember, achieving a balance between cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and core-focused exercises like planks is key to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. So, while planks can contribute to calorie burning, diversifying your workout routine will provide you with a more comprehensive approach to fitness.

In the next section, we will delve into the calorie burning during a 1-minute plank and explore the research and studies conducted on this topic. Stay tuned to discover the potential calorie-burning power of planks!


In conclusion, planks are not just about burning calories; they offer a multitude of benefits for overall fitness. While it’s true that planks can contribute to calorie burning, it’s important to understand that their true value lies in their ability to engage and strengthen various muscle groups.

Consistency is key when it comes to reaping the rewards of planks. By incorporating them into your regular exercise routine, you can improve your core strength, stability, and posture. Moreover, planks can enhance your overall athletic performance and reduce the risk of injuries.

However, it’s essential to remember that calorie burning is only one aspect of fitness. To achieve optimal results, it’s crucial to focus on a well-rounded exercise regimen that includes cardiovascular training, resistance exercises, and flexibility training. This balanced approach will help you achieve your fitness goals while promoting overall health and well-being.

So, while knowing how many calories a 1-minute plank burns can be intriguing, it’s important to view planks as part of a holistic fitness journey. By combining planks with other exercises and maintaining a consistent routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness aspirations.

For more information on calorie burning during various activities, such as donating plasma, surfing, or even driving, feel free to explore our website. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to understanding how different activities contribute to your overall fitness journey.

So, keep up the hard work, stay motivated, and enjoy the benefits that planks and other exercises bring to your life. Your body will thank you as you continue to progress on your fitness journey.