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Exercise: Plank with alternating Arm & Leg Extensions

This 'base' total body stabilization exercise primarily target the muscles of the abdomen and low back.  This exercise is ideal for any athlete looking to increase lumbar back and pelvic stability, and can be preformed anywhere either as part of a strength training routine, or as part of warm-up / before sport competition program.

Have you tried this exercise? Share your training experience with us.

Primary Muscle Groups: Erector spinae, Iliocostalis Thoracis, Longissimus Thoracis, Iliocostalis Lumborum, Quadratus Lumborum, Latissimus Dorsi, External Olbliques, Rectus Abdominus, Tranverse Abdominus, and the musculature of the upper back / shoulder
Technique Ques: Beginning in a prone position (lying on your chest), the athlete places their elbows under their shoulders, their feet together, and the forearms flat on the floor.  The athlete begins the exercise by lifting their body off the floor to a height where the shoulders and hips and horizontally aligned. 
The athlete should try to prevent a rolling, or a sinking of the lumbar spine, and should attempt to maintain a flat back.
When balance is achieved, the athlete proceeds to extend 1-arm as far forward as possible while at the same time lifting and extending the opposite leg as far as possible.  The athlete should resist the urge to roll their upper or lower back while extending the arms and legs.
If the athlete feels discomfort in the shoulders, they should stop the exercise, pause, and reset their arms so that they maintain 90o flexion in the elbows, and that the elbows are positioned directly under the shoulders.
Options for Progression: An athlete can progress this exercise in a number of ways.  They can increase the duration of their hold, they can increase the number of repetitions or sets performed, or they can add arm or leg extensions to the movement.

Variations of the Plank Exercise:
Plank with Leg Extensions
Plank on Stability Ball
Traditional Plank


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This website is not intended to provide medical advice whereby any and all exercise suggestions or recommendations contained within should not be taken as such. Please review the PTSI Privacy Policy and Authorized Use Policy and consult your physican before engaging in any activity described in this website.
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