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A plank is an excellent exercise for stability. The following videos demonstrate two variations on the elbows with knees bent and extended and on the hands with bent knees or elbows extended. Please discuss with your Physiotherapist which is most appropriate.

Kneeling Plank Variation 1

  • With straight elbows stack the wrists directly underneath the shoulders
  • Lift the sternum towards the roof and maintain a long line in the neck
  • Lower the hips towards the ground so there is a straight diagonal line from the neck to the tailbone
  • The knees and lower leg will be in contact with the ground
  • Ensure the weight is forward into the upper body
  • Draw the lower belly away from the waist band of your pants

Kneeling Plank Variation 2

  • Come onto all fours and lower down onto the elbows
  • Maintain a long line with the neck and shoulders
  • The shoulders should be stacked directly over the elbows
  • Lower the hips towards the ground so there is a straight diagonal line from the neck to the tailbone
  • The knees and lower leg will be in contact with the ground
  • Ensure the weight is forward into the upper body
  • Draw the lower belly away from the waist band of your pants

Full Plank

  • With the upper body positioned as above, curl the toes under and straighten the knees
  • There should now be a straight horizontal line from the head to the tailbone
  • Draw the kneecaps up towards the hips
  • Draw the lower belly away from the waist band of your pants
  • Note: this variation with the knees lifted can also be performed on the elbows as described in variation 2 (see below)

Precautions:

  • Avoid sagging through the lower back or sticking the buttocks towards the roof
  • Ensure the chest does not collapse below the shoulders, keep the sternum lifted and shoulders pressing away from the floor
  • If the straight elbow variation is uncomfortable on the wrists you can utilise a towel underneath the heel of the hand or come onto a closed fist