Elbow Plank

written by
Joel Runyon
last updated
June 24, 2021

Isometric exercises are performed in one position without movement. They are extremely effective at conditioning muscles while maintaining a pose in a stress position. One of the best and well-known isometric exercises is the Elbow Plank. It may appear easy at first, but trust us, it will challenge even the most hardened athlete.

The key is to keep your body in a static position while your abdomen and back maintain a neutral spine while your arms hold your bodyweight above the ground. You are not crunching or lifting your legs- simply staying prone and holding the position for as long as you can manage.

How to perform an Elbow Plank

elbow plank demo

Find a mat or a comfortable area on the floor.

Get into a pushup position, but with your elbows on the ground instead of your palms.

Your face should be looking down at the floor and slightly out in front of you. Your legs are extended straight out behind you while your arms are in front with your weight supported on your elbows. You can clasp your hands together in front of you.

Maintain a straight spine, so that your legs, back, and head are all in one continuous alignment.

Focus on your breathing as you inhale and exhale steadily. Use your core to stabilize your body in this position above the ground.

You should start to feel a “wobbly” feeling in your core- try to hold the plank position for as long as possible. Most beginners should be able to hold it for 30-60 seconds.

Rest and then try another set.

Common form mistakes are lifting your hips too high or rounding your lower back inwards. Keep yourself as stiff as a board throughout the exercise. As you become stronger, try to hold the Plank for as long as possible.

Elbow Plank video demonstration

written by
Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE and the founder of MoveWell. Joel founded MoveWell after sustaining an injury while running an ultra marathon on every continent. Joel is writes about mobility, pain management and health and wellness overall.

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