Plank – Martial Arts Strength Training
This page looks at the exercise known as a Plank. This bodyweight exercise helps to build core strength by working on abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, obliques, etc. In turn, this can improve martial arts kicking power and punching power. This core exercise is also known as the low plank, elbow plank, forearm plank, etc. For more advanced planks (i.e. Superman Plank), please visit the main Plank Exercises section.
With the common plank or forearm plank, a martial artist will rest on their forearms and feet while keeping their body straight. In contrast, with the straight arm plank, a martial artist rest on their hands (not their forearms).
All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting any stretching or exercise program. For different exercises (i.e. crunches and the bird dog), please visit the main Core Exercises section.
Additional Plank Variations
- Dolphin Planks
- Medicine Ball Planks – The instability of the medicine ball enhances the overall core workout provided by this exercise.
- One Legged Planks or Single Leg Planks
- Plank Jacks – Plank jacks work on your core strength and improve your conditioning.
- Reverse Plank – This plank exercise targets your lower back and abs.
- Side Plank – This plank exercise targets your obliques, etc.
- Side Plank Dips
- Spiderman Plank
- Straight Arm Plank – Unlike a traditional plank, you are resting on your hands and not on your forearms. It is like a stationary push-up.
- Superman Plank
- Upward Plank Pose
- For additional plank variations, please visit the main List of Plank Exercises section.
Instructional Videos for the “Traditional” Plank Exercise