Personal Trainer Techniques: Crunch Plank

In our first personal training technique video, our personal trainers Matt and Elise, demonstrate how to do an ab training variation called the Crunch Plank. This movement cranks up the intensity of the traditional plank and creates a much more effective training stimulus for the core.

With a strong co-contraction of the abs and glutes, the trainee creates posterior pelvic tilt. In this position the mid-section is supported to prevent over extension of the lumbar spine, aka the low back. Mastering this movement will help alleviate back pain and increase force transfer strength through the core. In other words, getting stronger with the crunch plank will make you stronger all over!

To perform this technique:

  1. Establish a correct plank position with a neutral (flat) spine.
  2. Elevate the hips slightly, then perform posterior pelvic tilt (tucking your tail and squeezing your butt cheeks).
  3. Lock your ribs down with your abs (crunch your abs).
  4. Squeeze both, the glutes and the abs, together; creating a strong co-contraction.
  5. To turn the volume up on the glutes, rotate your heels together.

It is important to note that correct position and feeling of this movement is imperative. Since it is more advanced than a traditional plank, do not be afraid to lower the rep time down. If you have the right set up, you will feel it! Your glutes will be pinched and your abs squeezing tightly.

The crunch plank is an excellent way to build stability through the midsection. A great practical application of this exercise is during the performance of overhead movements, like the overhead press. By squeezing your glutes and abs in to posterior pelvic tilt, your low back will be very stable and your strength will move to the next level!