Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
SHARE TEXT

Request a second opinion


Connect with UW Carbone Cancer Center on Social Media

Core Strengthening Plank Position

Our Services

Sports Medicine

The Farmer's Almanac is predicting another snowy winter. Even if you have wisely arranged for someone else to do the shoveling, it is good to train your core muscles. Training your core muscles involves strengthening your abdominals, hip and back muscles allowing for better posture and a more stable body for daily activities.
 
Plank Position

Choose the appropriate intensity level from the three options described below. Each one is progressively more difficult.
 
When performing the position, hold the plank exercise for 3 -5 seconds, repeating 1 - 3 times. As you get stronger slowly add a few more seconds until you are able to hold for 20 - 30 seconds.
 
Breathe normally throughout the exercise.
 
 
Plank Pose Option 1
Option 1
 
If you are new to this exercise start with the standing plank position.
 
Place your hands on the back of a couch, on a stable table or countertop surface.
 
Lean forward into your arms, you may even bend your elbows a little. It is very important to draw the belly in, contracting your abdominals to prevent dropping your hips forward into a sway back position.
Plank Pose Option 2
 Option 2
 
Advance to option 2 if you are comfortable getting on and off the floor, and the standing plank is a little easy.
 
Start on the floor on hands and knees. One at a time, bring elbows and forearms to the floor, spreading the fingers on the floor so you are supporting through your forearms and hands. Your elbows will be a little in front of your shoulders.
 
Rock yourself forward, shifting your hips forward until your shoulders are directly over elbows. It is very important to draw the belly up and in, contracting your abdominals to prevent dropping your hips down into a sway back position.
Plank Pose Option 3
Option 3
 
When you are ready for more challenge then option 2, progress to full plank on elbows.
 
Start by getting into bent knee plank.
 
Reach one leg back to straight leg position, bracing on the toes. Shift your second leg back. Contract your abdominal muscles, drawing your belly up and in to help prevent sway back position.
 
Check to make sure your elbows are still directly under your shoulders.