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Straight-Arm Plank and Elbow Plank

This is an excerpt from Conditioning to the Core by Greg Brittenham & Daniel Taylor.

Straight-Arm Plank

Unstable Upper, Single-Leg Hip Extension


Modifications

  1. Position the hands on a moderately unstable apparatus. The hands are directly under the shoulders with the arms perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Lift the body so the only contact points are the hands on the moderately unstable apparatus and the ball of one foot and that foot’s toes on the floor.
  3. Engage the glutes and extend the hip to raise the opposite straight leg off the floor.
  4. Avoid extension of the lumbar spine.

Elbow Plank

Unstable Upper, Single-Leg Hip Extension, Feet Elevated


Modifications

  1. Place the elbows and forearms on a moderately unstable apparatus. Place one foot on a raised platform.
  2. Lift the body so the only contact points are the forearms and elbows on the moderately unstable apparatus and the ball of one foot and that foot’s toes on the raised platform.
  3. Engage the glutes and extend the hip to raise the opposite straight leg off the floor.
  4. Avoid extension of the lumbar spine.

Straight-Arm Plank

Unstable Upper, Single-Leg Hip Extension, Feet Elevated


Modifications

  1. Position the hands on a moderately unstable apparatus. The hands are positioned directly under the shoulders with the arms perpendicular to the floor. Place one foot on a raised platform.
  2. Lift the body so the only contact points are the hands on the moderately unstable apparatus and the ball of one foot and that foot’s toes on the raised platform.
  3. Engage the glutes and extend the hip to raise the opposite straight leg off the floor.
  4. Avoid extension of the lumbar spine.

Elbow Plank

Unstable Upper, Single-Leg Hip Extension, Arms Elevated


Modifications

  1. Position the elbows and forearms on a stability ball.
  2. Lift the body so the only contact points are the elbows and forearms on the stability ball and the ball of one foot and that foot’s toes on the floor.
  3. Engage the glutes and extend the hip to raise the opposite straight leg off the floor.
  4. Avoid extension of the lumbar spine.

Straight-Arm Plank

Unstable Upper, Single-Leg Hip Extension, Arms Elevated


Modifications

  1. Straighten the arms with the hands on a stability ball. Position the hands under the shoulders with the arms perpendicular to the floor (the size of the ball dictates the degree of perpendicularity).
  2. Lift the body so the only contact points are the hands on the stability ball and the ball of one foot and that foot’s toes on the floor.
  3. Engage the glutes and extend the hip to raise the opposite straight leg off the floor.
  4. Avoid extension of the lumbar spine.

Note

Try different hand positions for additional control or difficulty. For example, point the fingers forward for greater difficulty, or point the fingers lateral toward the floor for greater control. Always be mindful of joint stability and control; never place a joint or body part in a compromised position (which is unique to the individual) that might lead to injury.

Read more from Conditioning to the Core by Greg Brittenham and Daniel Taylor.