Forearm Plank and Leg Lift

Forearm Plank and Leg Lift

The Forearm Plank and Leg Lift is an exercise that works the shoulders, triceps, abs, hamstrings and glutes. This exercise utilizes the standard plank position, but adds a twist. You raise your legs into the air and add a leg lift. This adds a more explosive, dynamic movement, which works your core and legs. Your arms are worked in an isokinetically (where muscles are contracting) , which tones them over time.

Forearm Plank and Leg Lift

Forearm Plank and Leg Lift Exercise

To do the Forearm Plank and Leg Lifts exercise:

  1. Start in plank position.
  2. Bend your elbows so that you have forearms on floor, hands clasped in a fist.
  3. Make sure you are firmly supported on both your forearms and heels.
  4. Raise one leg an inch off floor, extending the leg straight up.
  5. Hold for 5 seconds, or as long as you can.
  6. Switch legs and repeat.
  7. Return to plank position.

Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternack says:

Here we want to basically create a plank in our upper body and lower body together. With a straight line from your shoulder, to your hip, to your knee, to your heel. Tuck your pelvis in, and contract your abs. Hold this as long as you can. For some people, it’s 15 seconds. For others, it’s 2-3 minutes.

Forearm Plank Modifications

If you find it too difficult to perform the plank on your elbows, then place your hands on the ground. This modification will give you added support. If it is still too hard, you can also drop your knees to the ground. Do this in between each leg lift (if you are adding them to the forearm plank exercise).

Try not to strain your neck when doing forearm planks, or their modifications. Make sure to inhale as you thrust up, and exhale as your legs come down.

Popular Forearm Plank Workouts

  • The Jennifer Aniston workout uses the Forearm Plank and Leg Lifts, during her Yoga workouts.
  • The Gisele workout uses the Forearm Plank and Leg Lift as part of her aerobics and Yoga workout.
  • The Jessica Biel workout uses Planks as part of her yoga workouts. She also does side planks, with her trainer Jason Walsh. On other days, they do strength circuit training together.
  • The Audrina Patridge (from The Hills) workout also uses this exercise.
  • The Chris Hemsworth workout for Thor uses this exercise. He would start every abs workout doing planks.
  • The Katy Perry workout does this exercise with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternack during their 5-Factor workouts. She stays slim by contracting her abdominals often, while eating the 5-Factor diet.
  • The Jennifer Garner Workout for her movies uses a few abs exercises. She starts with normal, and reverse crunches, then transitions into what her trainer calls Elbow-to-Knee Crunches (another name for bicycle crunches). Then, Jennifer Garner does Side Planks and Forearm Planks.
  • The Matthew McConaughey workout for Magic Mike uses this exercise to train his abs.
  • The Jay-Z workout, and the Beyonce workout, both use the Forearm Planks with Leg Lift. It’s okay not to do leg lifts at first. But, once your core is strong enough, try to lift one leg in the air for 3-5 secs. Balance yourself on your forearms and other leg.
  • Instagram sensation Jen Selter’s workout includes planks. She doesn’t always do the associated leg lift. Sometimes she will hold for one minutes. Other times, she will jump right down into a plank, then hop right up, and repeat.

Forearm Plank and Leg Lift in Yoga Workouts

The Forearm Plank and Leg Lift is used in many yoga workouts. Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy, is a popular example of a yoga workout that uses the Forearm Plank and Leg Lift. Jennifer Aniston uses this yoga workout to stay in shape.


Interested in the yoga workout Jennifer Aniston uses? Get Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy Workout DVD (on amazon).

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