Tetris Planks

Tetris Planks: Powerful Planks for When You are Rushing at the Gym


Tetris is one of my favorite games of all time. The premise of the game is fairly intuitive, enough so that a 92-year-old or four-year-old can understand the fundamentals of the game.

As a game, Tetris works the core functions of our mind.

The core is probably the most talked about muscle “group” in fitness.

  • Engage your core.  
  • We are going to do some core exercises.
  • You must have a strong core.
  • Squats and deadlifts build a strong core.

Let’s clear something up first.

Your core does not equal “abs.” You can have a strong core with no ab definition.

Opera singers can manipulate their core to sustain notes, but Pavarotti has no visible abs.

Core exercises, alone, are not going to get you shredded.

Over the last few years, the plank has become the “go-to” core exercise. Countless articles have been written about them and hundreds of people perform them at the gym every day.

You will see most gym goers hold this position for 30-60 seconds or more. The longer the plank is held the more likely you are to let your butt sag or your abs disengage, making the exercise less effective.

The best way to engage your core is to brace yourself as if you are about to get punched/kicked in the stomach.

Imagining this will help you actually engage your core and work it more than if you were to just hang out in a plank for 90 seconds.

In the video below I go through my Tetris Planks progression.

Here is a quick explanation first for how to perform the Tetris Planks.

While in the plank position, you are going to squeeze everything from your neck down to your glutes as hard as you can. Think about being a long Tetris piece falling into place. Hold that position for 15 seconds. When the timer hits 15 seconds, switch over to a side plank.

During the side planks squeeze your glutes and the obliques (your side). Engaging your glutes in a side plank helps keep your obliques more stable and further engaged. Once the timer hits 15 seconds, do a side plank on your opposite side.

After you’ve completed both sides rotate back to the center and commence one more 15-second standard plank, squeezing everything from the neck down, and then you’ll then begin your last piece of Tetris Planks.

From the plank position perform Plank Mountain Climbers.

Take it slow and focus on engaging your core. Keep your legs as close to your body as possible and do not let your hips flare out.

All you need is 2, maybe 3 sets, of Tetris Planks once or twice a week.

These will help you understand how to engage your core as well as give you a great finisher for your squat or deadlift days.

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