Fitness Education: Push-Up Plank and Forearm Plank

 

In today’s Operation Health@Home Exercise Education segment, join exercise physiologist Marlene DaCosta as she reviews the push-up plank and forearm plank.  These core training exercises also known as anti-rotation exercises, target the obliques (the muscles that are at the sides of our body) and the deep muscles that stabilize the spine.

Push-Up Plank

To start, get into position on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.  Extend your legs behind you so that you are supporting yourself on hands and feet in the push-up position.  Feet can be shoulder-width apart or close together.

Once you have established this position, keep your core tight, and maintain a level back. Do not allow your low back to arch or hips to sag.  Keep your hands under your shoulders, legs straight with your toes curled under, and your head in line with your spine.  Maintain a normal breathing pattern throughout.

Complete three 10 second holds to start.  Gradually increase your hold time until you can complete three 30 second holds.

Modified Push-Up Plank

To do a modified version of the push-up plank, you will perform the exercise with bent knees.

Once you are in this position, keep your core tight, feet on the ground, head neutral, and maintain a level back. Do not allow your hips to rise or your low back to arch.

Forearm Plank

To perform the forearm version, lower your body to your elbows and extend your legs behind you so that you are supporting yourself on your elbows and feet.  Your elbows should be directly under your shoulder and bent to 90 degrees.

Once you have established this position, keep your core tight, and maintain a level back. Do not allow your low back to arch or hips to sag.  Keep shoulders over your elbows, legs straight with your toes curled under, and your head in line with your spine.

Complete three 10 second holds to start.  Gradually increase your hold time until you can complete three 30 second holds.

Modified Forearm Plank

To do a modified version of the forearm plank, you will perform the exercise with bent knees.

To start, get into position on your hands and knees. Lower your upper body down to your elbows and extend your legs behind you so your elbows and knees are at a similar level. Again, your elbows should be directly under your shoulders and bent to 90 degrees.

Once you are in this position, keep your core tight, feet on the ground, head neutral, and maintain a level back. Do not allow your hips to rise or your low back to arch.


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