The Prone Plank is one of the most used exercises around for core training.

Many people like using planking to help strengthen their abdominals over crunches. An added benefit of the prone plank is that it stimulates a lot more muscles fibers in your body than the crunch ever can.

The plank also works your entire core, unlike crunches. Using planks leads to a stronger body and higher amount of calories burned when you are performing it.

Planks are a useful exercise by them self, but they also work great as part of an active warm-up before performing heavy deadlifts or back squats.

Using Planks as an active warm-up has been shown to increase the core muscle activation and activity. The increased core activation can translate into heavier loads moved on these compound lifts
All of the athletes that used this method saw an increase of weight they could lift from each set to the next in a fairly consistent manner.

In this article, we are going to cover how you are to perform the prone plank. We will include video, image and a written step by step description on how to do it.

The difficulty level of the exercise, different muscles it works, and the benefits of including it into your training routine.

Video Demonstration

Prone Plank How to Guide

Elbow Position Image Example

woman showing how to perform the prone plank

Top Position Image Example

man showing how to perform the prone plank
  • Step by Step Description

  • We will outline how to perform the elbow version in our step by step walk through. To use the top of push-up plank place your palms where the elbows get put.
  • Step 1: Move your body to the ground. You should be looking towards the floor with your back pointing towards the ceiling. Place your forearms and elbow flat on the floor. The elbow should be directly under your shoulders for maximal stability.
  • You are now in the starting position to perform this exercise.
  • Step 2: Now raise your hips and make sure that your body is forming a straight line from the heels to your head. Your shoulders are to be squeezed in a kind of reverse shrug, flex your core, and glutes and straighten your knees as much as possible.
  • Step 3: Hold this position for 30 seconds or longer. You should be breathing deeply to help engage your core muscles.

Difficulty Level

The Prone Plank is rated as an Intermediate Isometric exercise.

It is rated at an intermediate level because many people new to fitness have to weak of a core and their hips sink.

You need to focus and use correct form when performing any plank to get all the advantages that they have to offer.

Equipment Required

The prone plank is a calisthenics exercise and only requires your body to be able to perform it.

You can add weighted clothing to make the exercise more challenging.

Muscles Worked

The plank is a full body exercise that mainly focuses on your core muscles.

The different muscles worked by this exercise are your abdominals, the erector spinae, Traps, and rhomboids in your back.

The various muscles in your shoulders used are the rotator cuff and deltoids.

Your chest gets the pectorals and the serratus anterior muscles worked.

The muscles in your legs worked are the quadriceps, calves, and your gluteus.

Prone Plank Benefits

The prone plank will help your to improve your spinal endurance which is used commonly used in physio to help address lower back pain.

Planking is shown to help increase balance, strength, and coordination.

It recruits a high number of your body's muscle fibers.

Training Tips

Use a deep and forceful breathing pattern to help activate your core. Diaphragmatic deep breathing increases transverse activity and internal oblique activity during a plank".

Do not let your hips rise or sink. Make sure that they are in line with your body.

An easy way to check your form is to place a broomstick onto your back when you are performing the prone plank. The stick should be touching your tailbone, upper back and the back of your head.

When the broom is touching these three spots, your body will be in the neutral position and that you are performing them correctly.

You can use either the top of push-up position where your arms get fully extended or elbow planks (where your elbows are on the floor instead of your palms).

Using the top position will place a higher amount of stress on the shoulders, and the elbow position will increase the core tension from the exercise.

Prone Plank Variations

Place your knees on the ground with your ankles crossed in the air. Having your knees on the ground is an easier variation useful for people who are having trouble with the traditional plank.

The Prone Plank with an exercise ball is another simpler variation. For more details on how to use this variation check out Do Prone Planks With an Exercise Ball.

Another way to increase the difficulty is to have a partner place a weighted plate on your lower back or use weighted clothing while performing the exercise.


If you want to strengthen your entire body and reduce the chance of injury Planks are a must in your training routine.

While many people view Planking as a sissy movement using them as an active warm-up before your weight training can help increase the amount of weight you can lift.

The core strength you gain from planks will help you on many other exercises that require a strong core like deadlifts and squats.

Evey week you should try to increase the time you are performing the plank.

If you are just starting out on your fitness journey, you should use the prone plank with our free online interval timer. No registration is required so check it out and use it to help you meet your fitness goals.

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