Core Exercise: Plank With Arm Extension
There are several variations to the basic plank exercise. Plank with arm extension is just one of these variations. Simply holding a plank position is a tough workout for your core. Plank with arm extension doubles the difficulty by asking you to hold that position with one arm raised in front of your body.
The main goal of this great core exercise is to raise one arm off the floor so that your fingers are pointing straight ahead with your palm facing inward. Your arm should not go above your shoulders, which must maintain a straight line with your body.
If you core is not sufficiently strong, your body may start shaking after a few seconds of holding the plank position. Do not worry, because the trembling will go away as you get stronger. You just have to practice more. The best part is you can do it anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment to perform.
Other names for this exercise
- plank with arm lift
- plank with arm raise
- single-arm plank
- plank with arm reach
- alternating reach plank
Exercise Instructions: Perfect technique for a single-arm plank
Perfect technique has to be maintained all the time for this core exercise to be effective. Doing singe-arm plank incorrectly may lead to injury or lack of achievement of your bodybuilding goal. It is therefore crucial that one performs this exercise using the proper form in order to get the best out from this great exercise.
STARTING POSITION: Lie face-down on the floor. Place your forearms flat on the floor with your upper arms close to your torso. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Your feet should be dorsiflexed with your toes on the floor. Brace your core and lift your body off the floor; only your forearms and toes should be in contact with the floor. If you were to place a broomstick on your back, it should make contact with your head, upper back, and butt.
MOVEMENT (ACTION): Staying as stable as you can, lift one arm off the floor and extend it forward. Keep your body level and your torso parallel to the floor. Pause for 1-2 seconds. Fight the urge to shift your weight or to rotate. Lower the arm back to starting position and lift the other arm.
Plank With Arm Extension Tips & Key Points
- Do not allow your back to round.
- Do not allow your torso to sway as you raise your arm.
- Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement to provide more stability.
- Your arm should not go above your shoulders.
- You would definitely not want to perform a plank for the first time by lifting one arm off the floor. First, master a simple plank with all limbs in contact with the floor, and then advance to the next level plank (plank with arm leg extension, plank with opposite arm and leg lift, etc.).
The plank with arm extension is much harder than it looks. It is an excellent strengthener of your core, shoulders and hips. Additionally, it improves your balance, coordination, and patience. More specifically:
- Abdominal muscles: rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, transverse abdominis
- The stabilizer muscles of the spine (erector spinae): iliocostalis, longissimus, spinalis
- Muscles of the hip joint (muscles which attach to or cover the hip joint and generate the hip’s movement): gluteals, hip flexors, piriformis, hamstrings
- Muscles of the shoulder joint
There are a ton of plank variations that you can try out. Some of them are more intense and require greater strength and dexterity.
- Regular (basic) plank
- 45-degree plank
- Kneeling plank
- Elevated-feet plank
- Reverse plank
- Extended plank
- Wide-stance plank with leg lift
- Wide-stance plank with opposite arm and leg lift
- Swiss-ball plank
- Full plank (straight arm plank)
- Swiss-ball plank with feet on bench
- Basic side plank
- Side plank with feet on bench
- Single-leg side plank
- Side plank with knee tuck
Top 10 plank exercise problems & mistakes. Find out how to solve most common problems you might encounter while performing this excellent core exercise for the first time.
One of the simplest methods to test the core strength is the plank. There are many variations of a plank, such as plain plank, plank with arm lift, plank with leg lift, side plank with leg lift, plank with knee touches, and many more. The beauty of a plank is that besides the entire core, it works the upper and lower body as well. In addition to the strength, it also works your muscular endurance.
Performing only crunches in your workouts neglects other core muscles, which can lead to imbalances and possible injuries and aches. Finally, if you perform all the compound movements (exercises) presented in this category, you will eliminate the risks of injuries because you train your core completely and in a functional way.