All sorts of workout challenges have gone viral on TikTok for the past year or so, especially with more people working out at home. And one of the best has got to be the super catchy cupid shuffle plank challenge set to the 2007 song “Cupid Shuffle” by none other than Cupid. (Say that three times fast.)
According to Melissa Boyd, head trainer and director of fitness programming and coach development with Tempo, one reason why folks love these plank challenges is because they don’t require equipment, so you can do them anytime and anywhere. They also target the core, Boyd says, which most people enjoy working for one reason or another. “But most importantly,” she adds, “is that people simply love a social challenge.”
Look on TikTok at the hashtags #CupidShuffleChallenge — which has over 76 million views — to see how the fun song has morphed into a low-key excruciating plank routine. While there will be small variations depending on who you watch, most people start off in a high plank, then dip their hips to the right, bring their right knee in, dip their hips to the left, bring their left knee in, and then alternate kicking their legs up before lowering into a forearm plank.
It all fits perfectly with Cupid’s lyrics that repeat “to the right, to the right” and “to the left, to the left” and also “now walk it by yourself, now walk it by yourself.” Can you envision the workout? Read on below to see what else the Cupid Shuffle challenge entails, as well as which muscles groups you’ll work by giving it a try.
Benefits Of The Cupid Shuffle Plank Workout
Let’s start off with the benefits of a forearm plank. “This move is particularly valuable because it trains the core in a way that mirrors the main function of the core throughout the day — maintaining good posture,” Boyd says. She adds that planks work a long list of muscles, but primarily target the abdominals, obliques, and spine erectors (the muscles lining your spine). Strengthen these muscle groups and you’ll enjoy better posture, reduced risk of injury, and improved athletic performance, says Boyd.
As the song’s lyrics continue, you’ll dip your hips down to the right then down to the left. It’s a move that effectively works the obliques by adding a twisting, dynamic motion, Boyd explains, which brings more challenge to the core.
Next, you’ll pull your right knee in towards your left elbow before alternating to pull the left knee in to touch your right elbow (to correspond with the song’s lyrics, of course). As Boyd says, “The muscles worked and benefits of mountain climbers are similar to those of a plank with a few additions.” Bringing a knee to an elbow adds yet another challenge that puts stress on the core, which in turn forces you to stabilize your body so you stay up in a plank.
Once you’re halfway through the Cupid Shuffle challenge, you’ll kick things up a notch by literally kicking your legs back behind you. “Adding a leg lift will challenge the core a bit more, because one leg has left the ground,” Boyd explains. “The glutes of that lifted leg will be a bit more challenged as well.” Some folks also step a leg out to the side at this point in the song to increase the difficulty, all while maintaining their plank. You’ll feel that part in your obliques, too.
Finally, you’ll get some arm work in by raising and lowering from a forearm plank to a high plank as the song goes “now walk it by yourself, now walk it by yourself.” The burn will be mostly in your tricep muscles on the back of your arm. After that, feel free to collapse onto your stomach to recover.
So, is the Cupid Shuffle worth a try? “As long as you understand your limitations and use good form, this is a great core workout,” Boyd says. Add it to your routine two to three times a week and you’ll see improved core strength. It’s a tough one, so remember to have fun moving with the lyrics — just like you did when you first heard this song way back in 2007.