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How To Do A Full Plank With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Elisa Silva" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/10/Intermediate_FULL_PLANK.jpg" } }, "headline":"HOW TO DO A FULL PLANK WITH PERFECT FORM", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-31", "description":"Learn How to Do A Full Plank With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/10/Intermediate_FULL_PLANK.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>When it comes to strengthening and toning your muscles, there are two main types of exercise that you’ll tend to encounter. First are isolated movements that target particular muscles—things like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and chest flies. Second are compound movements, those that work multiple muscle groups in one exercise. There are advantages to each, but if you’re looking to gain full-body strength and tone efficiently, then compound moves are the way to go. Here we’re going to teach you a popular move that will hit your abs, back, glutes, arms, and more: the full plank.</p> <p>You’re probably familiar with the full plank, but if you’re not here’s how to do it. Get on the floor and prop yourself up on your elbows. Come up onto your toes and squeeze your glutes to form a straight line with your body from your head to your toes. Hold this pose for 30 seconds or as long as you can without sacrificing form. When done correctly, the full plank creates powerful tension in your core. This tension helps to flatten your tummy, improve stability, and promote full-body strength.</p> <p>If you’re not quite ready for the full plank, there are two modifications you can make. First, you can try the kneeling plank. Use the same form cues that you did for the full plank, but rather than coming all the way up onto your toes, prop yourself up on your knees instead. Be sure to squeeze those glutes hard to keep yourself aligned. Second, you can do a plank with your hands on a chair rather than on the floor. Come up onto your toes, place your hands on your couch or chair, and hold the plank pose.</p> <p>Once you’ve mastered the full plank you can move on to the advanced variation, plank up-downs. Plant your toes on the floor and place your hands on the ground directly underneath your shoulders—like you’re setting up for a pushup. While continuing to hold yourself up, drop down onto your left elbow, then your right elbow until you’re in an elbow plank. Press yourself back up with your left arm, then your right arm, and repeat. That added up-down movement is going to add a great workout for your arms and shoulders while hitting your core hard.</p> <p>First, let’s learn how to do the perfect full plank.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Place your elbows on the ground in line with your shoulders. Come up onto your toes, and squeeze your glutes to form a plank position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="full-plank-1"> </picture> <li>Hold this pose for 30 seconds or more.</li> <li>Rest and repeat.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li> As soon as you come up onto your toes you should feel your quads firing hard, the same way they would if you were to use a leg extension machine. Squeeze your glutes and quads throughout the exercise.</li> <li>You also want to fire the muscles of your upper body including your lats, serratus, pecs, and more. Without actually doing so, create tension in your muscles as though you’re trying to press your elbows towards your belly button. People often have a tendency to push forward when they’re doing a plank, but this actually makes the move much easier. We want to make it harder in order to get the maximum benefit for our time, so add that tension in your arms.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/full-plank-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="full-plank-2"> </picture> <li>Keep your shoulders and head relaxed throughout the movement, making sure not to scrunch up or shrug too hard. Think about staying tall all the way through your head while you hold the plank.</li> <li>Don’t arch or sag your back while you’re doing the full plank as this will throw you out of alignment and reduce tension in your core. If you feel yourself falling out of proper form, take a brief rest, reset, and start again. Just remember to focus on the cues we’ve given you here.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>The plank is a fantastic compound exercise that will give you a great workout in only a few minutes. If you’re not doing the plank correctly though, you’re going to make it too easy on yourself. To get the maximum benefit out of this exercise, be sure to follow the form cues we’ve offered here and really push yourself!</p> <p>Again, this move isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re struggling to get the full plank down, start out with the kneeling plank or try out a plank with your hands on a chair instead. As you build up strength and stability, you’ll also prepare yourself to take on the full plank and other more challenging variations. Regardless, you’re going to improve your posture, strengthen your core, and boost your overall stability.</p> <p>The next step after the full plank is the plank up-down. This powerful move will give you all those incredible benefits—plus an added workout for your arms and shoulders. This move is going to take a lot of effort, but the results will be worth it!</p> <p>Now that you know how to perform the perfect full plank, it’s time to test it out for yourself. Try holding a plank during every commercial the next time you’re watching your favorite show!</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-plank-up-downs/">Plank Up Downs</a>. If this exercise is too difficult, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-kneeling-plank/">Kneeling Planks</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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