Challenge Your Core With the Reverse Plank

The garden-variety plank is a type of workout routines that many individuals start or finish their exercises with. It’s easy, dependable, and accessible: Even individuals who don’t interact in common planking nonetheless technically know the plank — the posture is nearly similar to the push-up, in spite of everything.

When you’re on the prowl for a easy adjustment to the plank that’ll pull in a giant payday, you’re in luck. The reverse plank will tackle your whole bottom, out of your decrease again to your glutes, hamstrings, and extra. 

A person doing a reverse plank.
Credit score: Slatan / Shutterstock

If you wish to contain these muscle tissue in your coaching and construct your endurance with out firing off reps each different second, you possibly can merely flip your physique over and assume the place of a reverse plank. All your posterior muscle tissue shall be strengthened by the straightforward act of stopping your torso from falling to the ground.

The way to Do the Reverse Plank

With the intention to do some reverse planks, all that you must do is keep your backbone and legs in a straight line whilst you use your arms to prop your self off the bottom. It isn’t practically as simple because it sounds, however you’ll uncover that for your self by finishing the next steps.

Step 1 — Set Your self Up

A person getting started to do a reverse plank.
Credit score: Josep Curto / Shutterstock

Sit down on the ground in an upright place, along with your legs prolonged straight out in entrance of you. Attain behind your torso along with your arms and plant your palms flat on the ground, elbows straight.

Coach’s Tip: When you have discomfort in your shoulders or need to add to the mobility of your chest, you possibly can strive the reverse plank along with your fingers rotated outward and your fingers going through away out of your physique.

Step 2 — Bridge Your Physique

A person performing a reverse plank.
Credit score: antoniodiaz / Shutterstock

Lean again, pull your shoulders backwards, and squeeze your glutes to increase your hips. Your behind ought to come off the ground. There must be a straight line out of your shoulders to your ankles. 

Coach’s Tip: To assist your self get right into a correctly bridged place, it’s best to hold your head impartial, and even raise it backwards to allow your physique to completely open up.

Reverse Plank Units and Reps

Very similar to the fundamental, face-down plank, the reverse plank is usually carried out both as a warm-up previous to your main pulling actions, or on the conclusion of your back workout. Most of your programming choices will revolve round your competence degree with the train:

  • Beginner: 4 units of 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Intermediate: 4 units of 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Superior: Two to 3 units of 90 seconds to 2 minutes.

Frequent Reverse Plank Errors

Seeing a photograph of somebody in a reverse plank place makes the train look deceptively easy; it isn’t essentially simple. Not solely are you going to be challenged to maintain the place, but when your muscle tissue are usually stiff, chances are you’ll really feel such as you’re having to uncomfortably contort your physique simply to start. Listed here are some widespread errors that you simply is perhaps lured into.

Poor Hand Place

That is a type of workout routines the place probably the most helpful hand positioning is subjective. The textbook hand place is along with your fingers going through towards your physique, however for some folks, altering the course of the fingers may help open up the shoulders and chest. 

This will make it simpler to raise your torso into its optimum place. Keep away from jamming your wrists right into a place that isn’t snug or sustainable.

Hunching Your Again

One of the vital widespread errors made throughout reverse planks is to permit your shoulders to dip ahead. This error can have a number of root causes, together with an insistence on decreasing your chin and looking out towards your ft, or just not extending your fingers again far sufficient. Be certain that your shoulders keep packed down and retracted in your whole set. 

Arching Your Again

Whereas it’s a much less widespread drawback than hunching your again, urgent into the bottom by means of your ft and palms too aggressively could cause you to excessively lengthen your backbone.

A person doing a reverse plank with an arched back.
Credit score: antoniodiaz / Shutterstock

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Extending your physique past the specified alignment of the reverse plank defeats the aim of this explicit train — the aim is to take care of tight, impartial alignment between your ribcage and your pelvis.

Reverse Plank Variations

There are a number of variations of the reverse plank that you may full; all of them fulfill the reverse plank’s important requirement of compelling you to compete with gravity to carry your physique aloft. These workout routines are listed so as from the least difficult to probably the most troublesome.

Reverse Plank Bridge 

By protecting your ft flat on the bottom and bending at your knees, you’ll alleviate measurable strain out of your glutes and hamstrings whilst you nonetheless keep the alignment of your backbone and hips. 

The reverse plank bridge shortens the second arm of the train; straight knees will elongate your physique, imparting larger drive onto your joints in consequence. This isn’t dangerous, however in the event you’re new to body weight train, chances are you’ll need to begin with the bridge as an alternative. 

Reverse Plank on Elbows

For one more variation of the reverse plank that reduces the stress in your shoulders, you are able to do reverse planks with each of your forearms on the bottom.

Bench Reverse Plank

A correct plank locations your torso parallel, or virtually parallel, to the ground. This posture evenly distributes the downward drive of gravity throughout the entire related joints. Nonetheless, the character of the reverse plank itself makes it troublesome to perform this aim with out including some additional gear into the combo.

You possibly can repair this by working with two elevated surfaces, like a bench or a pair of plyometric boxes. Sit between them, along with your ft up on one and your shoulders again in opposition to the opposite. Squeeze your glutes to raise your self up off the ground and droop your physique parallel to the bottom. 

Reverse Plank Options

When you’re undecided if the reverse plank is the train you’re searching for, however you continue to suppose your posterior chain can use some work, listed below are a number of train choices that may depart your hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors burnt to a crisp.

Glute Bridge 

This in style glute exercise received’t present as a lot stress alongside your again, however it does require engagement of the glutes to provoke and maintain the bridging perform. The bridge teaches you to coach your hip extensors dynamically, relatively than holding them immobile in place.

You can too load the bridge with virtually any kind of resistance. A barbell works properly for maximal mechanical stress, however you can too work with a pair of dumbbells or a heavy kettlebell.

Hip Thrust

The usual hip thrust carefully replicates the posture and challenges offered by the reverse plank. By supporting your torso in opposition to a bench or field after which extending your hips, you practice the entire identical musculature because the reverse plank.

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Hip thrusts are phenomenal for muscle progress in your glutes particularly. Bent knees will take your hamstrings out of the limelight to a level, as there shall be some slack within the tissue. Nonetheless, you choose up an unparalleled quantity of stimulus to your glutes. That’s the trade-off. 

Glute-Ham Increase

When you have entry to the machine, the glute-ham raise is indispensable in your posterior chain. Whereas it is a face-down motion, it requires engagement of the glutes, hamstrings, and spinal erectors in an effort to repeatedly elevate your physique and hold it inflexible in opposition to gravity.

You possibly can ante up on the problem by holding a lightweight weight to your torso, however be warned: The glute-ham increase is greater than difficult sufficient for most folk with none additional weight in any respect.

Muscle groups Labored by the Reverse Plank

Saying that the reverse plank entails the majority of your rearward-facing muscle tissue is not any exaggeration. Your legs, glutes, again and shoulders are all going to carry out some critical work to maintain you from collapsing again to the bottom.


Your gluteal muscle tissue (that’s your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus) are among the many largest and strongest tissues in your decrease half. They’re largely chargeable for controlling your hips and stabilizing your pelvis.

Through the reverse plank, your glutes interact and clench particularly to raise your bottom off the bottom. Since your glutes fall immediately in the course of your two anchor factors (your palms and ft), they’ll bear probably the most general load as you attempt to take care of a straightened physique. 


Your hamstrings work in live performance along with your glutes to take care of your physique’s elevated place throughout the reverse plank. The hamstrings are a biarticular muscle; they cross each your hip and knee joints.

As such, your hamstrings are partially chargeable for extending your hips and straightening your knees. Your hamstrings present an assistive function in sustaining stress throughout your kinetic chain throughout an isometric train just like the reverse plank.

Erector Spinae 

When you carry out the reverse plank correctly, you shouldn’t really feel an excessive amount of stress in your decrease again. The first responsibility of your lumbar erectors is to increase your backbone. Nonetheless, reverse plank ought to include a impartial backbone, limiting the function of your erectors within the first place.

A persons back showing the erector spinae.
Credit score: Wooden Water Wall / Shutterstock

When you discover that your decrease again lights up after only a few seconds of reverse planking, chances are you’ll be using incorrect kind, straightening your physique by arching your again relatively than extending your hips. 

Advantages of the Reverse Plank

Simply because it is perhaps powerful to imagine that an train that appears so easy could possibly be so troublesome, it could additionally shock you simply how helpful it may be to easily maintain your physique in place for a number of seconds at a time. Nicely, seeing is believing, and after a number of weeks of reverse planks you’ll be made gladly conscious of all of those advantages to your physique.

Improved Posture

On a regular basis actions like desk sitting, sofa slouching, and a common bias towards coaching your forward-facing physique components can typically lead to a sloped posture. Reverse planks require your entire rearward physique components to press in opposition to gravity, a stimulus you don’t get typically from day-to-day actions.

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A couple of units of reverse planks scattered all through your day might encourage you to take care of higher posture from dawn to sundown. 

Builds Sturdiness

As demanding because the reverse plank will be, it’s concurrently one of many most secure endurance workout routines for the entire muscle tissue inside the again half of your physique. In case you are coaching for bodily sustainability, not to mention psychological toughness, enduring the reverse plank will remodel you into somebody who can endure punishment.

Improved Chest and Shoulder Flexibility 

As a secondary profit, the 90-degree angles at which your shoulders interact with the ground is enough to copy and even exceed that of most variations of the usual arms-backward chest stretch. So whereas your again and glute muscle tissue are being strengthened, the muscle tissue that join at your shoulder girdle will get pleasure from an amazing stretch.

Who Ought to Do the Reverse Plank

Whether or not your most bodily taxing days forward of you, presently underway, or lengthy behind you, the reverse plank can enhance the state of your physique that can assist you thrive in no matter stage of life you currently end up in.

Ageing Lifters 

Past a sure age, it may change into troublesome (or in some instances, harmful) to stick with sure types of coaching. This will actually embody explosive types of train, like each ballistic coaching and plyometrics. Isometric workout routines just like the reverse plank allow trainees to train their muscle tissue whereas limiting their ranges of movement or imparting ballistic drive onto delicate joints. 

Racing Athletes 

To racing athletes like cross-country runners, skiers, velocity skaters and swimmers, sustaining an optimum physique place is vital.

An athlete doing a reverse plank on the field.
Credit score: Simply dance / Shutterstock

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Getting ready your core muscle tissue to maintain a correct physique posture whereas your limbs are propelling you ahead is a necessary ability, and a requirement for fulfillment in these kinds of actions.

If You Want a Posture Reminder

Slumping into our couches and slouching over our work desks has wreaked havoc on our collective spines, inflicting our shoulders, necks and heads to float ahead. The reverse plank forces you to activate your spinal erectors to shift your backbone again into its correct configuration. 

Critical Power Athletes

For Olympic lifters and powerlifters, a posterior chain able to holding up below stress is totally important in an effort to tolerate exceedingly heavy weights. As a result of isometric training helps muscle tissue to realize energy in a hard and fast place, reverse planks complement vital postures throughout heavy lifting. Suppose a deadlift lockout, bench press set-up, or the beginning place for the overhead press

Go Ahead in Reverse

It doesn’t matter what your favourite exercise is, you’ll get pleasure from it extra if in case you have strong, purposeful again energy. The reverse plank is straightforward, accessible, and fulfilling (in the event you like testing your ache tolerance, that’s). Throw it into your subsequent core workout and start reaping the advantages. 


Nonetheless have some questions in regards to the reverse plank? We don’t blame you! Listed here are some solutions.

Can reverse planks totally substitute common planks in my coaching program?

Regardless of the same objectives of protecting the physique aligned, planks and reverse planks activate very totally different muscle tissue. In each instances, the entire stabilizing drive is directed downward, so the muscle tissue going through the bottom are at all times doing the majority of the work.

When you need to coach each your anterior and posterior muscle tissue isometrically, you’ll be suggested to incorporate each planks and reverse planks in your coaching plan.

If I do reverse planks, do I nonetheless want to coach my again and glutes individually?

It is determined by your objectives, however it’s typically suggested that you simply problem your muscle tissue by forcing them to work in opposition to resistance all through their full vary of movement. As a result of reverse planks are an isometric train, they solely allow your activated muscle tissue to realize energy in a single place.

Can I rely solely on stability workout routines just like the reverse plank, or ought to I do different forms of workout routines?

It is determined by what your objectives are. Isometric exercises are glorious for participating muscle tissue that may in any other case go unaddressed or be underutilized, and there are some benefits. Nonetheless, they have an inclination to underperform compared to workout routines that require a muscle to undergo full flexion and extension, at the least with respect to whole muscle activation.

For the sake of being thorough, it is perhaps greatest to enrich your reverse plank coaching with different workout routines addressing the identical muscle teams, like again extensions or stiff-legged deadlifts.

Featured Picture: Slatan / Shutterstock

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