How To Do Copenhagen Planks

Copenhagen Planks (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Copenhagen Planks are a unique (and challenging!) exercise that develops groin strength and core stability.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Copenhagen Planks including important coaching tips, muscles worked and a few alternatives.

How To Do Copenhagen Planks

Equipment Needed

  • Bench or Box (something to elevate your foot onto)

Muscles Worked

  • Groin (Adductor Brevis, Adductor Longus, Adductor Magnus)

How To

  • Lay on your side on the floor with your feet close to a bench.
  • Place the top foot onto the bench.
  • Now raise yourself up into a side plank position – on your elbow, hips and shoulders stacked, with your body in a straight line from your shoulder, through your hip to your foot.
  • The down leg should be lifted up as well and held mid-air. Either directly underneath the top leg or slightly in front of the body if that’s not possible.
  • Hold for the designated amount of time and then switch sides.

Coaching Points

Copenhagen Planks can place a surprising amount of stress on the groin. I highly advise easing into position with them until you feel comfortable.


Copenhagen Planks build eccentric strength in the groin as well as core stability. Not enough exercises really focus on developing groin strength. This can make Copenhagen Planks a critical exercise in your strength training plan to help reduce groin injuries.

In a 2013 study focused on hip adduction exercises for soccer players, Copenhagen Planks were one of the most effective exercises at activating both the groin and the core.

How Many Reps?

I like to use Copenhagen Planks as part of a warm-up. 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Copenhagen Plank Alternatives

Need an alternative for Copenhagen Planks? Here are a few exercises that you may be able to use as a substitute.

Want more options? Here are my 5 favorite alternatives for Copenhagen Planks.

Monster Steps

Monster Steps received their name because Banded Adduction Steps didn’t really roll off the tongue.

Take a band and loop it around the bottom of a rack. Loop the opposite end around your ankle and step away from the rack just enough to create tension in the band. You should be facing perpendicular to the rack with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. (The band tension should be pulling laterally away from the body)

Now, pull the foot into a hip-width position and then CONTROL IT back to the starting position.

Medicine Ball Straight Leg Lifts

Hard Rubber Medicine Ball

Medicine Ball Straight Leg Lifts are another exercise that simultaneously works the core and the groin.

By squeezing a medicine ball between the feet, you force the groin to actively fire to control the medicine ball and keep it in place. It is one of those deceptively challenging exercises that you’ll know immediately right where it’s working.

Side Planks

Side Planks are a Copenhagen Plank without the added groin element.

However, if you want to add a groin element to it, you can raise the down leg knee up in front of you as you side plank. This can make a great alternative if you don’t have a bench to elevate your foot onto. Or, as a more beginner-friendly version before progressing on to the more advanced elevated position.

More Links and Info

If you’d like to see more warm-up drills and exercises, make sure to check out the Warm-up Section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of warm-up movements, all with step-by-step instructions.

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