Plank Pose

Transverse Abdominal Exercises Video Series

The Plank Pose is an isometic exercise which means a non-mover.

Instead you will hold the "pose" for a set amount of time to engage and strengthen the transverse abdominal.

Your body is positioned as such that you will resemble a plank of wood, hence the name for this exercise.

This is also sometimes called the front hold, hover or abdominal bridge. The instructions and video on this page is for the most common form of this workout which is the front plank.

The front plank is held in a push-up position with your body's weight held up by using the forearms, elbows and toes.

This exercise will help strengthen the abdominals, back and shoulders. The primary muscles engaged during your workout are the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis.

The secondary muscles include trapezius (traps), rhomboids, rotator cuff, deltoids (delts), pectorals (pecs), gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads) and the gastrocnemius.

This last muscle is a superficial muscle that is in the back part of the lower leg.

Exercise #1 - Front Plank Pose

Below are the step by step instructions for the front plank pose. Many other exercises for this type exist with some of the more common ones being the side plank and reverse plank.
  1. Start by placing your knees and your hands on the ground and sitting in a doggy position with your arms directly underneath your shoulders.
  2. Now stretch your legs out keeping your back straight and prop the legs up with your toes.
  3. Look straight down to the floor keeping the neck aligned with your straight back.
  4. Pull your ab muscles in so the hips don't sag. Don't let the hips rise up, keep them in line with the back. The body should form a straight line from your heels to the top of the head.
  5. Now hold this pose for about 30 seconds or longer.
  6. Release the hold by placing your knees back on the mat.
  7. Repeat for several repititions of this isometric exercise.
You can do this in front of a mirror to ensure you have the proper pose or have a friend look to ensure you a properly aligned.

Watch the video below to ensure you are doing the this move correctly. 

Not all mobile devices will display the video correctly. If you are not seeing the full video (or it's not displaying at all), click here to view the plank pose on youtube.

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