How to Do the Plank Position

How to Do the Plank Position

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If the word "plank" brings to mind wooden boards, you are on the right track for a mental picture of the exercise. The plank is performed with your body "stiff as a board" in a tight, straight line and without movement. The body position may sound simple, and the absence of movement and equipment in the plank may lead you to believe it is an easy exercise. Do not let this fool you. The plank is an intense exercise and one of the top five recommended by You will strengthen your core, upper back, glutes, fronts of thighs, shoulders, chest and calves in the plank. This complete body exercise is easy to add into your existing workout routine.


Step 1

Warm up before you perform plank. Walk, jog, climb stairs, cycle or dance for five minutes to warm your body.

Step 2

Begin on your hands and knees. Remain on your hands if you have practiced plank before. Lower onto your forearms and place your palms flat on the floor if you are a beginner. Line up your elbows underneath your shoulders.

Step 3

Straighten your legs behind you, flex your feet and rest your toes onto the floor.

Step 4

Lower your hips until your spine is straight. Look down at the floor to protect your neck.

Step 5

Maintain this position for five to 60 seconds. Breathe normally as you remain in the plank.

Step 6

Slowly lower your knees to the floor to leave the plank position. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat if you are able.


  • Increase your time in plank as your strength improves. Other options to increase the intensity of the exercise are to lift one foot or one hand off the floor. You can also add sideways movement and "walk" your feet and hands across the room. Remember to keep your hips low during your sideways movement.