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How To Do Plank Up Downs 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/Advanced_PLANK_UP_DOWNS.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do Plank Up Downs With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-31", "description":"Learn How To Do Plank Up Downs With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/10/Advanced_PLANK_UP_DOWNS.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>The plank is an awesome static movement that works your whole body with one simple hold. But, did you know that there are dynamic variations that add movement to the mix to take your planks to the next level? It’s true! Here we’re going to teach you a plank variation that will do some serious work on your triceps and shoulders while firing your core hard: the plank up-down.</p> <p>To perform the plank up-down, begin in an elbow plank position propped up on your toes and your elbows. Gently shift your weight to the left and bring your right palm to the floor. Now shift to the right and bring your left palm to the floor. Come back down the way you came, then repeat until you finish a set. When you’ve finished, switch and do the move on the opposite side, placing your left hand on the floor first this time. We often think of planks as a core exercise, but this variation really works your upper arms while you tone and smooth your abs.</p> <p>If you’re a beginner, we suggest you start with the kneeling plank. For this beginner plank variation, start in the same position. Now shift your weight forward so you form a plank from the top of your head, supported by your elbows and your bent knees. Hold this position for as long as you can or for a specific interval. Need a little extra support? Try placing your hands on a chair rather than on the floor. The kneeling plank is a great first step on the road to plank mastery. But don’t underestimate it—this move really hits your abs, chest, triceps, and shoulders!</p> <p>From there, move on to the full plank. Place your elbows on the floor and come up onto your toes to enter a plank position. Again, hold this pose for as long as you can or until your timer goes off. Planks are challenging, but do them correctly and you’ll be sure to get some excellent returns for your effort.</p> <p>Now, let’s learn how to do the plank up-down with perfect form.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Begin in an elbow plank position, propped on your elbows and supporting your weight on your toes.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="plank-up-down-1"> </picture> <li>Shift your weight to your left and place your right hand on the floor.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="plank-up-down-2"> </picture> <li>Shift your weight to the right and place your left hand on the floor to enter a full plank.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="plank-up-down-3"> </picture> <li>Drop back down the way you came. Move your weight to the right to put your left elbow on the floor. Then shift to the left and place your right elbow back on the floor.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="plank-up-down-4"> </picture> <li>Finish the set then switch, this time placing your left hand on the floor first, then your right. </li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Good plank form is crucial! Make sure to squeeze your glutes and quads tight so your back doesn’t arch or sag and your butt doesn’t stick up in the air. You want that nice straight line from head to toe.</li> <li>Without actually moving them, fire the muscles of your arms as though you’re trying to pull your elbows toward your belly button. Really focus on doing this each time you bring your elbows down to the floor. This keeps the pecs, lats, and serratus active, as it doubles down on the tension in your core.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="plank-up-down-5"> </picture> <li>Shallow breathing is best for this exercise. Leave a small amount of air in your stomach at all times to maintain tightness and alignment in the core.</li> <li>Keep your torso as centered as possible. The shift in your weight should be just enough to allow you to place your hands on the floor, not so much that you lose your balance.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-6.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-6.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-6.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/plank-up-down-LR-6.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="plank-up-down-6"> </picture> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>To get the maximum benefit from your plank up downs, the key isn’t how many you can do, but how well you can do them. Take your time and really focus on the cues we’ve offered here to ensure that your form is good and you’re activating all the right muscles.</p> <p>If this move is too difficult for you at first, start out with the kneeling plank. This move might be a beginner modification, but it really packs a punch for your arms and core. The kneeling plank provides perfect preparation for the full plank. You might have seen others do planks before and thought you’d never be able to get there. With this progression, you can go from a couch potato to a plank pro in no-time. </p> <p>You’ve got all the tips you need to do the best plank up-downs, so why not try it out today? Add a set to your workout or drop and do a few reps while you watch Netflix.</p> <p>If this exercise is too difficult, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-full-plank/">Full Planks</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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