Plank Progression: Single Arm Plank

Welcome to Day 4 of our Plank Series!  In Day 3 of our Plank Series, we discussed how to progress your plank with a Single Leg, 3 Point Plank.  Continuing with a 3 Point Plank,  the next progression in our series is the Single Arm Plank.  Before you get started on your progression, check out our article here to ensure your plank foundation and setup is correct.

Similar to the Single Leg,  3 Point Plank, you will have 3 points of contact on the ground: one arm and two feet.  Since your weight will be unbalanced, your core will be working extra hard to stabilize your body, making this a challenging progression.

Fully Extended Single Arm Plank

When progressing to a Single Arm Plank, we suggest you begin in a fully extended position.  As we discussed in Day 2, a fully extended plank is easier to perform than a forearm plank, making it a great starting place when progressing to a new plank exercise.

Similar to setting up your 3 Point Plank, you will want to make sure your shoulder is directly over your wrist.  You will also want to take a wider stance with your feet to balance your body and your weight.  Keep in mind though, the wider your stance, the easier the exercise will become.  As you become more comfortable in this position, you can narrow your stance.  For further plank setup tips, check out our article here.

Keep your weight centered and refrain from swaying to one side.  Switch arms halfway through your plank.  If this position bothers your shoulder, you can skip ahead to the forearm position (pictured at the bottom).

plank progression single arm
A fully extended position is a good starting place

If you have trouble placing your arm behind your back due to a limited range of motion, you can also extend your arm overhead, as pictured below.  This arm placement will be equally challenging.

single arm plank
Positioning your arm overhead is another option for arm placement

Forearm Single Arm Plank

Once you are able, you can progress to a Forearm Single Arm Plank.  As with all forearm planks, this position will be more difficult since you are closer to the ground.  Similar to the extended position, you can place your arm overhead if it’s more comfortable.  Don’t forget to switch arms halfway through!

single arm plank progression
Positioning your arm overhead is another option for arm placement

Written by Sophie DeHenzel
Plank Progression: Single Arm Plank

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.

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