The reverse plank is a gymnastics-inspired bodyweight drill that will challenge whole-body strength and endurance. Don’t get stuck in reverse: follow the steps below to perform this exercise correctly.
The reverse plank is a gymnastics-inspired drill that will challenge whole-body strength and endurance.
This exercise requires good upper body strength, wrist flexibility and adequate hip extension.
The exercise can be performed as a hold or as controlled reps.
Sit down on the floor with legs straight out in front of you. Place the arms by your side, slightly behind you. If you can, face the fingers forwards, if not, then turn out slightly for comfort. Engage the core, ready for movement.
Keeping the legs straight, straighten the arms and slowly drive the hips up until the whole body is straight – ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders and head are all in a straight line. Drive the heels slightly into the floor to help hip extension, maintain a chest lift and keep the core engaged.
Hold for time, or perform controlled reps.
The reverse plank (or back support) is a classic gymnastic drill that is used to drill shape control and static strength/endurance in gymnasts. Often mistaken for a ‘core’ exercise, it’s an extremely functional whole-body exercise with a particular emphasis on the extensor muscles
Several factors may limit exercise performance. The fact that there are so many highlights the highly demanding nature of this exercise.
The most common observation seen in beginners is overextension (over-arching) of the low back. Surprisingly, this can be caused by many limitations. These include weak glutes/hamstrings which mean the lower back must effectively work to lift the hips up; restricted thoracic extension (often postural) will result in the inability to lift the chest and can cause excessive arching of the low back.
Other limitations will generally focus on lack of general upper body strength and weak wrist strength and/or flexibility. You can improve both through regular wrist stretching and weight-bearing exercises, such as push-ups and crawling.
Don’t get stuck in reverse now that you know how to do the reverse plank properly. Move forward with these tutorials: