How To Do Plank Jacks

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

A plank jack is a dynamic exercise that combines a traditional plank with a jumping jack movement, where you jump your legs out and in while maintaining a plank position. This exercise strengthens the core, shoulders, and legs, while also providing a cardiovascular workout, enhancing overall stability and endurance.

Follow these steps to perform a plank jack properly:

  • Begin in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, your feet together, and your body in a straight line.
  • Similar to the motion of a jumping jack, jump your feet wide keeping your buttocks down. Jump your feet back together.

Be sure to keep your lower abs pulled in very tightly as you jack your feet. If you do not pull them in, your body will bounce up and down and you will end up with a sore back and less results. Keep your belly super tight!


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    How to Perform the Plank Jack Exercise (Video Instructions)

    Prefer to learn by watching? Check out this short instructional video for plank jacks!

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    What Muscles Do Plank Jacks Work?

    Plank jacks is an awesome upper body and core strength move that works your chest, back, shoulders, arms, abdominal muscles, lower back and stabilizers. It’s a great cardio exercise too!

    What are the Benefits of Plank Jacks?

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

    Stronger Core

    This dynamic exercise is first and foremost, a core body exercise. This move gets your body to tighten and contract all of your core muscles while your feet are jumping out and in creating movement and instability through your trunk.

    Through the contraction of the core muscles you are able to keep your mid-section stable and strong during movement. It’s like a plank on steroids!

    Stronger Upper Body

    Plank jacks not only work your core, but you get a great challenge for your upper body as well. Your arm muscles will be contracted the entire time you are working and, much like the core, helping to stabilize you as your feet are jumping in and out.

    This exercise will target biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles for beautiful, sculpted arms.

    Cardio Boost

    Newsflash, you don’t need to be on your feet to get your heart rate up. Plank jacks are the perfect example of an upper body way to boost your heart rate and get a great cardio challenge.

    Try it and see if you aren’t breathing heavy in just 30 seconds or so. Results? Absolutely!

    Chris Freytag demonstrates Plank Jacks

    How Many Calories Do Plank Jacks 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. Plank jacks are definitely high intensity.

    Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn. This exercise will get you working fast!

    Incorporating Plank Jacks Into Your Workouts

    Plank jacks are an amazing exercise all on its own! However, you could also incorporate them into other workouts to mix them up.

    Here are some ideas to get you started:

    Other Similar Exercises

    If you’re loving this exercise and the results you get from it, here are a few more moves you might want to try.

    1. How To Do Crossbody Planks
    2. How To Do Spiderman Abs
    3. How To Do Side Plank Lift and Lower
    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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