This variation, one of the most common ways to perform a plank, is slightly easier than holding your body up with just your hands.

  • Place forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.
  • Ground toes into the floor and squeeze glutes to stabilize your body. Your legs should be working, too — be careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
  • Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Your head should be in line with your back.
  • Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising your form or breath.


  • Start at the top of the push up position with your hands on the floor, arms straight and underneath your shoulders. Step your feet back behind you and lift your knees. Engage your glutes, tense your legs and brace your core to keep your body rigid.
  • From the top position, pick up your left hand and lower down on to your left elbow and forearm by placing your elbow directly under your shoulder. Repeat this for your right arm, until you are in an elbow plank position. Keep your body strong and firm through the movement and avoid letting your hips sag or stick up. Imagine a straight line running from the crown of your head down to your feet.
  • From the bottom position (plank) pick up your left arm and place your left hand on the floor underneath your left shoulder. Push down into your left hand to lift your body up away from the floor and at the same time, pick up your right hand and place it on the floor underneath your right shoulder to return you to the start position.
  • Repeat the entire lowering to plank and pressing back to push-up position, but start with your right arm this time to lower first and push-up first. Change arms every time you complete a full up and down cycle.