Plank Exercise Guide
The plank is an isometric exercise that strengthens the entire torso, particularly the core. A standard plank is a simple and essential exercise for any fitness regimen, but correct alignment and positioning is critical for maximizing its benefits.
How to do Plank
Start off in a crawling position on your hands and knees. Pick up one hand, bend it at the elbow and place your elbow on the floor directly underneath your shoulder. Repeat for the other hand so that you are resting your upper body on your elbows. Then walk your knees back out behind you, tuck your toes and pick your knees up off the floor into Plank position.
Make your body as rigid as you can from your feet to your head to keep it in a straight “plank-like” shape side on. Do this by tensing your quads to lift your knee caps up your thighs, squeezing your glutes together, bracing your core and drawing your belly button up away from the floor, whilst at the same time pressing down into the floor with your elbows.
Keep your neck in a neutral position, aligned with the rest of your spine, by looking at the floor just in front of your hands.
Common faults with Plank are to have your hips up too high or too low, to drop your head so you are looking back towards your toes, or to not have enough tension in the upper body such that your chest slumps down in between your shoulders.
For poor wrists, begin in the plank position and carefully lower down onto your forearms.
When you're still gaining core power, keep the plank position on your knees instead of your feet.
Do not allow your back to round.
Learn how to do plank from this step-by-step illustrations:
The muscles used for plank may change slightly based on the your trained range of motion and technique, but in the most general case, the muscles used for plank are:
- Lower Abs
- Upper Abs
- Rear Deltoids
- Front Deltoids
- Side Deltoids
- Transverse Abs
Frequently Asked Questions
Training, Progressions and Regressions
Interested in how to improve your Plank faster?
Standards and Averages
Wonder how do others perform in Plank and how should you?
Wonder how to work the same muscles with other exercises?
Wonder how to make Plank either easier or more challenging?
|Type(s)||Bodyweight, Calisthenic, Strength, Isolated|
|Muscles Worked||Abdominals, Deltoids, Gluteus, Latissimus Dorsi, Lateral Deltoids, Lower Abdominals, Anterior Deltoids, Upper Abdominals, Posterior Deltoids, Transverse Abdominis|
|Difficulty Level(s)||Basic, Easy, Moderate, Simple|
|Location||At Gym, At Home, Outdoor|
|Target muscle(s)||Abs, Deltoids, Glutes, Lats, Lower Abs, Upper Abs|
|Synergyst muscle(s)||Rear Deltoids, Front Deltoids, Side Deltoids, Transverse Abs|