The Plank: Gym Shorts (How To)

New to plank or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

How to Perform the Plank

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

The Plank Correct Form: Follow These Steps

  • Option 1: hardest
    • Hands shoulder-width apart
    • Feet together
    • Body forms a generally straight line
  • Option 2: medium difficulty
    • Forearms on the ground with elbows shoulder-width apart
    • Body forms a generally straight line
  • Option 3: easiest
    • Knees on the ground
    • Forearms on the ground

What is the Plank

The plank is a “core” exercise that works the abdominal muscles isometrically. As opposed to a lying leg raise or sit-up, that involve hip flexion, or a crunch, that involves thoracic flexion and a “crunching down” of the abs, this involves no movement.

This exercise require no special equipment whatsoever, so it is a good exercise for military service members or those lacking access to equipment, such as someone traveling or in a location with no gyms or where the gyms are closed.

This exercise can be performed with hands on the ground, like the top of the push-up position, for maximum difficulty.

Performing this movement with forearms on the ground is the default, and involves medium difficulty.

Placing the knees on the ground makes this easier for those who struggle with the other variations.

Programming the Plank

This is an accessory exercise that most people do not need to perform. Some, because they want additional “core” training or because of military or similar requirements may want to perform this exercise.

Perform this exercise for a duration of time. Lifter may perform 2-5 sets of 10-60+ seconds.

This exercise can be performed as part of a circuit or as its own as part of a dedicated core exercise improvement, for someone such as military service members who need to perform well on “core exercises.”

Click HERE to watch our gym short video on the sit-up and HERE to read an article on training your core for functional fitness.




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