Abs & Core Bodyweight Exercise Bodyweight TV

Build Killer Abs with the Plank Push

Written by Ryan Murdock

We received a lot of great feedback on our multidimensional core video series. You asked for more, and we’re here to oblige…

Core training is a big priority for our readers — and with good reason. The core is your body’s powerhouse. It transfers force from lower to upper body, protects the back, and keeps us upright. It’s also the location of that hot set of beach abs. Let’s not discount the importance of those!

Having a pretty little six pack is great of course, but if you’re nothing but a bag of highly toned spare parts you’ll never be able to use that strength in real world applications. The movement we’re sharing today is an important one because it teaches you to connect the driving power of your arms and legs to your core.

The Plank Push takes an excellent static core exercise — the Plank — and puts it into motion. If you’re already familiar with the basic Plank, good for you! It’s one of the keys to developing a strong transverse abdominus and learning to stabilize the core and lower back. Putting the Plank into motion will teach you how to use that strength in three dimensions.

The other reason I really like this movement is because it’s so portable. It doesn’t require much space, which means you can do it in your office, living room, or the tiniest Tokyo hotel. I’ve even done this in a two person tent when trapped by bad weather.

I want you to focus on two things.

First, the lower back. Keep that tailbone tucked throughout. You should never sag at the spine. If you’re starting to notice your alignment breaking down, you’ve reached your limit for the day. Stop now while you’re still maintaining good form, and seek to build your volume incrementally. If you’re not able to hold it at all, drop down to the basic Plank and work your static strength first.

Second, keep your shoulders pulled down away from your ears, and your elbows pinched tight to your ribs. Exhale as you come into the extended position to lock down your core, and allow an exhale again as you go butt-to-heels and compress the air out of your lungs through movement.

These are your key performance goals.

Here’s your Plank Push tutorial:

Have fun with it, and let us know how you did in the comments.

Ryan

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Ryan Murdock

32 Comments

    • We suggest turning up the volume on your speakers – that’s been shown to fix these technical issues.

      Joking aside, those clips were filmed last summer. We’ve since been able to upgrade our equipment and technical capabilities. Look for some pretty cool stuff from us this year 🙂

  • Deceptive is right! Sometimes the basics will remind us how powerful they are.
    Great demo and this one is a keeper.

    Great Job Ryan.

    Regards,
    Don

  • Leave it to you to find yet another exercise to get a bunch of muscle groups screaming at the same time 🙂 I love love love the stuff you guys come up with even though my husband laughs at me when I do them!

  • “Can I drool on your abs?”? How am I not going to open that email?! Excellent content as always, guys, thanks! I love/hate this move. (Oh, and right back atcha.) 🙂

  • Love it guys! Always looking for more ways to work on my core and upper body strength and move towards those elusive full push-ups… this might be the move to get me there! Thank you Ryan!

  • Thanks for the progressions. It’s been a while, but I used to do BB. I was thinking that i wd. start that again but I will work my way thru this instead. I’m pretty inflexible so even crouching back presents a bit of a problem. My young baseball player and I will add these core+ exercises to his sledgehammer routine. Say, where was the gal up top in the video? I must’ve missed it….

  • Wow I like this .
    I was concerned about being on the knees as of yet they are still pretty new and feel weird when on them for a bit, but it works
    I seem to struggle with the butt positioning or tailbone as you mentioned
    Any hints as to making that more understandable thanks as always you guys rock

    • Hi JLB,

      Stand with your back against the wall, and your feet about a foot out in front of you. Your butt, shoulder blades and back of your head should be in contact with the wall. Now tilt your pelvis to flatten your lower back against the wall. That’s the flat back position you want to establish before extending out in the push plank.

  • Nice post Ryan…this is another level from the old plank and hold. No question you’ll be working the deeper core muscles with this movement. Too many people neglect the transverse abdominis, etc and only focus on flexion which is a big mistake. You want to develop a natural “girdle” do this exercise. Cool blog by the way Ryan, I’ll be back- Shane

  • I am in constant awe of the ingenuity and creativity that Ryan and Adam possess. They each possess a one of a kind brilliance. I have learned more useful information, that is actually applicable, that works, shows safe progressions, and helps me towards my fitness goals, from this website in a couple months than I have ever learned from the years of wasted time perusing other “fitness” websites such as T-Nation and Bodybuilding.com. This is my favorite website. Thank you Ryan and Adam for being such great teachers.

  • Would you have aay advice for knee discomfort with this exercise? It is one that I have tended to avoid from Tacfit Commando as my knees very quickly get really uncomfortable from the pressure on the ground, even if I do it on a mat on a carpet. I don’t have any specific knee issues as such (that I know of anyway!). I don’t mind a bit of discomfort you understand but when pushing 40 I am always very cautious particularly with areas like knees of doing more harm than good. Would you have any advice on that?

    thanks
    Stephen

    • Stephen,

      Have you tried doing the movement with extra mats or padding?

      If you’re strong enough, you could also try the full movement from the toes, without touching your knees down.

  • I just discovered this page some time ago, and decided to try it — and of course I couldn’t do even the beginner form. I made it up to the plank, but I could feel that if I tried to bend my arms, I’d crash (actually, I did 😀 ) I decided to do it slowly, and with each day that I do this, I find that I can go slightly lower than I did the last time. Still a far cry from getting to 90 degrees, but I know I’ll get there in time. For now, I really enjoy the way the starting position stretches my back, which is why I fell in love with this. I hope to finally get to do my first real push-up with this someday. Thank you!

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