How To Do a Plank for Maximum Core Strength (The RKC Plank)

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PlankOk, so you think you know how to do a plank, huh?

Well, a couple of small tweaks in this fundamental core strengthening exercise and you’ll rediscover what a true plank really is!  (I know I have.)

This is the RKC plank.  (The RKC is the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, the world’s premier kettlebell certification).

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

Ok, so you get into the plank position (see the picture above).

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

Here’s a few adjustments.  Instead of putting your elbows directly at shoulder level (as shown), position your elbows just above shoulder level (or approximately at 100 degrees shoulder flexion, instead of 90 degrees) and also bring your elbows closer together (more toward your chest).  

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

This will do 2 things.  It will increase the lever arm and narrow your base of support which increases the core tension significantly.

Next, squeeze your quads and glutes as hard as you can.  I mean squeeze your quads and glutes HARD and hold it.

By following these simple instructions, your core muscles will be activated like you can’t believe. Try it and get back to me!


See if you can hold this plank technique for atleast a minute.  It’s a real challenge and your entire body will probably be shaking.

Don’t worry if you can’t do a minute, this is hard.  But keep working on it, at least a few times per week and you’ll see how strong and conditioned your body will be by practicing this extreme exercise.

EMG studies have demonstrated that this type of plank fires the abs significantly more than the traditional plank.

Again, stop what you’re doing and try this NOW!

Let me know what you think.

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    • Scott says

      Hey Tim,
      The credit goes to the Authors of ‘Easy Strength’ where this point was illustrated. The internal obliques, external obliques, and abs fire significantly more, as reported.
      Actually, just doing the exercise as mentioned and it’s very easy to see why this is true. Don’t really need an EMG to get that kind of feedback, but it helps to support the fact of increased muscle activity with this variation of the plank.