What Is a Plank Jack: Muscles Worked & Technique

woman standing in plank at home

Addicted to plank exercise? Challenge yourself with a Plank Jumping Jack! The exercise is getting popular in the core, strength training, and HIIT workouts. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do a Plank Jack properly. Check these tips to get the most out of the workout.

What Are Plank Jacks?

A Plank Jack combines two exercises: the Plank and the Jumping Jack. The workout requires the plank position. Your feet hop in and out while you keep your spine flat. Plank Jacks occurred in 2014 as an alternative to the regular Plank. The Plank Jack is beneficial for full-body stability and endurance.

Plank Jacks chart

How to Do Plank Jacks

The Plank Jumping Jack is simple to perform. You need no equipment, which is perfect for a home gym. You can get a yoga mat to avoid slipping while you’re in a plank position. Here’s how to do Plank Jacks.

Get down on the floor with your face down. Your head is in a natural position. Place your hands and feet on the mat. Your elbows are bent so the forearms rest on the mat. Your wrists are in a straight line with your shoulders.

Straight your legs out behind you like in a traditional plank position. Place your feet together with your toes touching the mat. Keep your lower back flat so it’s parallel to the floor.

Squeeze your core and glutes while performing Jumping Jacks. There’s a straight line from your neck to the lower back. Your eyes are focused on the floor.

While keeping your back steady, slightly bend your knees. Start performing Jumping Jacks. Jump your feet outward and inward.

woman doing Plank Jack at gym

Alternate your feet together and separate to the sides. As soon as you split the legs, put them back together. And get back to the start position. Every time you jump, land on your toes. Do as many reps as possible. Or set a designated time.

Tuck your belly when performing the Jumping Jacks Plank. This helps to engage your core muscles. Thus, your hips won’t drop when you jump. The proper form helps to avoid pain in the lower back.

Don’t overdo it with your hops. Jump a few inches apart from the starting point. Otherwise, you’ll get slower and can’t perform as many reps as you’re capable of.

To challenge your core strength, do 3 to 4 sets of Plank Jacks. Start with a set of 20 seconds each. It’s enough to get your heart rate accelerated and boost your core. Repeat the jumps as many times as you can. Watch your movement that is crucial in this workout.

how to perform Plank Jacks chart

Plank Jacks Muscles Worked

Plank Jacks amp up your upper-body and lower-body muscles. At different motions, a variety of muscle groups is activated. They include your biceps, forearms, abs, glutes, and more.

Upper Body

When you jump and get your legs off the ground, your arm muscles are engaged more. They include the biceps, triceps, forearms, pecs, and front deltoids. These muscles help you to keep the proper plank motion.


Your core must be contracted when you perform the Jumping Jack exercise. Particularly, internal and external obliques, rectus and transversus abdominis are engaged. Your abs are working to keep your body straight. Your braced core affects the proper back posture to avoid arching.

Posterior Chain

Your spine and leg muscles help to keep your body posture steady. These are rhomboids, rear delts, lats, spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings.

We already described this muscle group in the Box Squat workouts.

As you can see, Plank Jacks activate a wide range of muscle groups. That makes the exercise highly efficient for the entire body. Each move involves various muscles to keep the proper posture.

woman and man doing plank

Plank Jack Benefits

1. All-Around Workout

Plank Jacks hit muscle groups all over the body. You can strengthen your arms, shoulders, chest, abs, and back. Such exercises will definitely fit cardio and strength training fitness workouts.

2. Strengthen Your Core

Plank Jacks is a real challenge for your core. As with any other plank variation, the exercise targets your abs and obliques. They help to activate your back and hip muscles. Core strengthening is advantageous for overall stability and mobility.

high plank position

3. Lessen the Risk of Back Pain

Improved core muscles help to reduce the risk of back pain. When your brace your core during the exercise, you help to maintain your back. The spine is in straight alignment that lessens the risk of injuries.

If you already have issues related to back pain, contact a professional trainer or a doctor. They should tell you if Plank Jacks are good for your health.

4. Burn Calories

Plank Jumping Jacks are a cardiovascular exercise. Cardio workout keeps your heart rate accelerated. Oxygen is actively supplied to your organs to perform better. Your metabolism is improved even after the training. All of these affect losing fat. No doubts, Plank Jacks will get you sweaty.

Plank Jack Variations

man standing in plank at gym

1. Traditional Plank

Get down on the mat with your face down and legs extended behind. The toes are touching the floor with the heels pointed up. Extend your arms to get on a high plank position. Your hands line up with your shoulders.

Brace your core and back while performing the plank. Keep your hips and shoulders down creating a straight line. Your knees are unlocked. Your head and neck are in a natural position. Your eyes are focused on the floor a foot above your palms.

There’s a straight line between your head and lower back. Hold in plank for 15-60 seconds. The more, the better. Don’t forget to breathe all the way long.

how to Plank Jack Pikes chart

2. Plank Jack Pikes

Get down on the mat with your face down and legs extended behind. The toes are touching the floor with the heels pointed up. Extend your arms to get on a high plank position. Your hands line up with your shoulders. Place your feet together.

There’s a straight line between your head and lower back. Tuck your belly in. Brace your core and back while performing.

Pop your legs up into a pike position. Your body creates a V-shape upside down. Your toes touch the mat to keep the balance. At the highest point, your head is faced your legs. Jump and get back to the plank point. Try to make it smooth and don’t make pauses.

Stability Ball Knee Tuck

3. Bear Plank

Such exercise is an excellent core trainer for those who are looking for improved plank workouts. It’s also called knee tuck with a stability ball. Place the ball on the mat. Start from the plank position and with your arms straight.

Place your feet on the ball. Contract your core and pull your knees forward. Keep the hips level. Extend knees back and go back to the plank pose. Repeat 10-12 times per set.

woman checking time when plank

Cardio Workout Plan

Here’s an example workout routine on how to add Plank Jacks. Such a plan will hit a fat-burning HIIT workout flawlessly. Perform each exercise for 20 seconds at the beginner level or 60 seconds if professional. The rest takes 40 seconds between the reps. Repeat the reps 3 to 4 times.

  1. High Knees (running in place).
  2. Plank Jacks.
  3. Jump Squats.
  4. Farmer’s Walks.
  5. Squat Thrusts.

woman is doing plank with dog

Boost your Core Muscles with Plank Position

Plank Jacks can be an excellent addition to complete any cardio workout. So you can diversify your rowing and treadmill routine. It’s an excellent plank variation to level up your training.

Plank Jacks are an all-around exercise. It helps to activate your arms, core, and legs. The Plank Jack is beneficial for the core strength. It helps to keep your back safe. No matter where you set your gym, this exercise will definitely fit it.