How To Do A Forearm Plank

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrates a Forearm Plank

A forearm plank is a core body exercise that strengthens all of the muscles of the core, gives you a stronger low back, and teaches your body stabilization. Often overlooked, the transversus abdominus is the real muscle that gives you a flat belly. This little muscle that sits below the belly button is extremely important for back health and a strong tummy.

Our core is made up of many muscles. Often when doing ab work people spend most of their time focusing on the front of the abs that you can see- the “6-pack” or the rectus abdominus. However, your transversus abdominus, “low abs” are extremely important for your overall strength and stability. Many people suffer from back problems. Strengthening your low abs is one way to protect your low back from injury and keep you strong.

When you begin this move, you can place your knees on the ground if needed. Once you master the forearm plank on knees, you can move up to a full forearm plank. The forearm plank should be done in time increments. Start with 10 seconds. Once you can hold it for that long without letting your back sag or feeling a strain, add ten more seconds. Continue to do this until you have reached a full 60 seconds. Practice the forearm plank 2-3 times a week and try our workout 6 Plank Variations for Awesome Abs.

Use the links below to quickly navigate this guide:


Enter your email & get this article sent to your inbox.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    How To Do A Forearm Plank

    Here are the steps to performing a forearm plank:

    1) Begin lying on the floor with your forearms flat on the floor, making sure that your elbows are aligned directly under your shoulders.

    2) Engage your core and raise your body up off the floor, keeping your forearms on the floor and your body in a straight line from head to feet. Keep your abdominals engaged and try not to let your hips rise or drop.

    What Muscles Do Forearm Planks Work?

    A forearm plank is a core body exercise that strengthens not only your abdominal and lower back muscles, but also your shoulders and upper back. If you learn how to do forearm plank you will tighten your tummy and help prevent low back pain. As you read the benefits and look at the ways to use this move, remember that a kneeling forearm plank is a great way to learn this exercise until you have the strength to hold on your toes.

    Benefits of Forearm Plank

    There are many reasons you should incorporate forearm planks into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    Stronger Core

    Forearm planks are, first and foremost, a core body exercise. This move gets your body to tighten and contract all of your core muscles. This will help with your core strength which, in turn, keeps your low back strong and helps to prevent lower back pain. Remember, if you try this move and your low back bothers you, it may be because your abs are just not yet strong enough. Instead, place your knees on the floor and perform the rest of the move the same way. Once you gain the strength to hold it on your knees for 30 seconds, you can add a few seconds here and there on your toes.

    Stronger Upper Back and Shoulders

    Forearm Plank has a side benefit of strengthening your upper back muscles as well as your shoulders. Most of the work to hold this position should be done with the core, but the upper back and shoulders must also be engaged and working to keep you strong.

    Better Posture

    The forearm plank helps to promote better posture. By keeping your tummy pulled in for a long time you are training yourself to use this action throughout the day through the use of muscle memory. As you sit at your desk or in a car your lower ab muscles will remember how to pull in and it will become a natural position. As you walk with a friend or go for a run, your core will be drawn in so you stand taller and have better form.

    How Many Calories Do Forearm Planks Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at high intensity. Though the goal of the forearm plank isn’t necessarily to burn calories, it will still accomplish this goal in a different way, though you won’t burn as many calories as an intense cardio move.

    Other Exercises Similar to Forearm Plank

    If you like forearm planks and the results you get from them, here are a few more exercises you might want to try.

    1. How To Do Spiderman Abs
    2. How To Do Side Plank Lift and Lower
    3. How To Do High Boat Low Boat

    Incorporating Forearm Planks Into Your Workouts

    Forearm planks are an amazing exercise all on their own! However, you could also incorporate Forearm Plank Hold into other workouts to add a core strength element or to mix-up your work. Here are some ideas to get you started.

    Use Forearm Plank in a Core Strength Workout

    It only takes 4 or 5 good moves to get a complete core workout and cover virtually every muscle group in your mid-section. Forearm planks are incorporated into this next workout that will do just exactly that!

    Sculpted Core in 5 Simple Moves Workout: Here’s a short, sweet and effective workout for your core that uses Forearm Plank! For the following workout, perform the exercise as instructed. If you still feel great at the end, try going through each move one more time!

    Oblique Crunch – 15 Reps per side

    Forearm Plank – 30 seconds

    Sprinter Sit-Ups – 15 Reps Right leg, 15 Reps Left leg

    Hip Dips – 16 Total Reps

    Straight Leg Toe Touch – 15 Reps


    Use Forearm Plank in a Cardio Workout

    Cardio workouts are fun to do and make you feel great. The problem is that often people fall into the habit or relying on cardio as their only exercise program. The good news is that it is simple to add the Forearm Plank to the end of your cardio workout to help bring your heart rate down while still working. This cardio challenge can be done at home with no equipment and uses Forearm Plank to give you a core strength move at the end. Check it out!

    10 Minute At-Home Cardio Workout: No equipment needed. Just get ready to work hard and get that body in shape in 10 minutes!

    Warm up by marching or jogging lightly for 1 minute. Then do 4 inchworms to get the body ready for movement. Shift into the following moves, performing each for one minute, rest at the end for 30 seconds, then repeat the sequence. Once finished with the cardio moves you’ll add your forearm plank hold. Check it out!:

    Squat Jumps

    Upper Cuts


    Mountain Climbers


    Rest one minute then repeat all 5 once more!

    Now HOLD Forearm Plank for 30 seconds minimum! Challenge yourself to longer each time.

    Use Forearm Planks in a Full Body Strength Challenge

    An all-over strength workout requires core training to be part of the equation. A forearm plank is the perfect move to slide in between other exercises to work your core while your other muscles are resting between moves.

    Full Body Strength Challenge: This workout uses Forearm Plank in addition to covering every muscle group! Grab a medium pair of dumbbells and go from one move directly to the next. Make sure you repeat 2 times!

    Push-Ups – 12 reps

    Plank Jacks – 12 reps

    Bicep Curl Lunge – 12 Reps

    Tricep Overhead Extensions – 12 Reps

    Squat Thruster – 12 Reps

    Shoulder Front Raise – 12 Reps

    Cross Behind Lunge Lateral Raise – 12 Reps

    Straight Arm Press Back – 12 Reps

    Reverse Grip Double Arm Row – 12 Reps

    Forearm Plank – Hold 30 seconds minimum

    Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate Forearm Plank you might want to try:

    How To Plank Your Way To Flat Abs

    8 Strength Training Moves Women Over 50 Should Do

    7 Things You Can Do To Get A Flat Tummy

    Targets: shoulders, core


    Enter your email & get this article sent to your inbox.

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
      (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
      Skip to content