11 Jan How To Do The RKC Or Hardstyle Plank

PlankThink you know how to do a plank?

I’ve got a couple of small tweaks in this fundamental core strengthening exercise that will help you rediscover what a true plank really is.

This is known as RKC or hardstyle plank.

There’s a few small changes you can do to build incredible core strength and challenge your entire body even more.

First, get into the plank position (see the picture above).

Your body forms a straight line from your head to you feet.

Here’s 2 adjustments.

Instead of putting your elbows directly at shoulder level (as shown) do this:

  • Position your elbows just above shoulder level (or approximately at 100 degrees shoulder flexion, instead of 90 degrees)
  • And, bring your elbows closer together (more toward your chest).  

So, when in the plank position, bring the elbows up just a bit and bring them closer together.

This will do a couple of things.

It will increase the lever arm and narrow your base of support which increases the core tension significantly.

Then, don’t forget to squeeze your quads and glutes as hard as you can.

It’s important to squeeze your quads and glutes really HARD as you hold the position.

By following these simple changes, your core muscles will be activated much greater than a standard plank.

Bret Contreras has done some EMG studies that have demonstrated that this type of plank fires the abs significantly more.

This makes a major difference in the way it feels and it’s much harder, as you’ll discover.

Try to hold this plank technique for at least a minute, which is a big challenge.

If you can’t do a minute, hold for as long as you can and get your baseline for progression.

Add this variation at least a few times per week and you’ll see how strong your core muscles become by practicing this revision.

Next time you do the plank, consider this variation for maximum core performance.

It’s an entirely different animal.

Scott Iardella writes about strength training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, join a strong and growing community of passionate fitness enthusiasts and subscribe below to get a ton of cool, free stuff!  
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