Plank To Push Up

How To Do A Plank To Push up YouTube
By Alli McKeeMarch 1, 2016

Plank To Push-Up Exercise

The plank to push-up is a great exercise for strengthening the musculature of upper body, anterior core, and to a smaller extent, the muscles of the posterior core and glutes. The plank push-up is a perfect option if you are a beginner and need to gain the necessary levels of core stability and upper body strength before you move on to more advanced core exercises (both stability and mobility), and regular push-ups.

Equipment needed:

You do not need any equipment to do this bodyweight exercise.

Ability level:


The push-up plank might be too advanced for beginners. If this is the case, they can elevate their arms on a bench, and can perform the modified variation of this exercise. Beginners might perform 1-3 sets of 5-10 reps/side of the modified plank to push-up exercise. Once beginners can perform 5-10 reps/side with good form, they can move on to more advanced variations of this exercise.


Intermediate lifters who have mastered the modified plank to push-up exercise can perform the regular variation from the ground. Women of an intermediate fitness level can do the plank to push-up as part of their warm-up, can perform it between sets of upper or lower body exercises, or can put it in their conditioning circuit as a way to increase their overall core stability work. This exercise can also be used in workouts that are done in de-load weeks, or during recovery workouts.


Advanced lifters can use the plank push-up in their workout program the same ways as intermediate lifters. They can also perform a more advanced variation where they add a weight plate/chains to their mid-back and perform this exercise. This extra weight will make the exercise even more challenging. They can also mix in regular push-ups to the exercise, or can elevate their feet on a box or bench.

Benefits of Plank To Push-Ups:

There are many planking benefits. How a woman chooses to use this exercise is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, her reason for using the exercise, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general, plank to push-ups can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • increasing upper body strength, particularly the shoulders, chest, and triceps
  • increasing core strength, particularly the anterior core
  • increasing the strength of the posterior core and glutes
  • evening out asymmetries and imbalances between the left and right sides
  • preventing injuries, particularly any that result from a weak anterior core and the subsequent pelvic and spinal stability
  • warming the body up before performing more advanced exercise variations, or as part of a general warm-up
  • conditioning (if used as part of conditioning circuits)
  • convenient as it requires no equipment and can be performed anywhere, any time
  • these are the plank exercise benefits

How to perform a Plank To Push-Up:

  • Get into plank position on your forearms and feet.
  • Your shoulders should be directly above your elbows.
  • Set your body so it is in a straight line from your head to knee, and tuck your chin. Your spine should remain in neutral alignment.
  • Before each rep, take a deep breath in through your nose (360 degrees of air around your spine), brace your core (pretend that you are about to be punched in the stomach), actively tuck your rib cage down towards your hips (close the space in your midsection), and squeeze your glutes. This will stabilize your pelvis and spine and will allow you to focus on your upper body.
  • Now press up onto your hands and go into a push-up position and come back down to the starting plank position.
  • You can go up on the same arm and down on the same arm and then switch, or you can alternate every time.
  • Before each rep, reset and repeat the same breathing, bracing, and rib tuck sequence.
  • Keep your shoulders packed.

Video Transcription: 

This is a plank to push-up position and it’s exactly what it sounds like. You’re going to start on the plank position, you’re going to come up to a push-up position and come back down. You can go up on the same arm and down on the same arm and then switch, or you can alternate every time, doesn’t really matter.  It’s whatever your preference is. So again, start on in a nice, solid plank position, keep everything nice and tight. And then you’re going to go to a push-up position, and then back down to a plank position, and then push-up position, and back down to a plank position. The key is to stay really tight the whole time, you don’t want your butt to come up in the air, you don’t want your core to sag. And you just go plank position to push-up position and back down.


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About the author:  Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at

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