Hand Plank Detailed How to:
I suggest starting in a kneeling position as opposed to starting with your hips on the ground. When you begin from the hips on the ground position, your lumbar spine is hyperextended, which is dangerous and to be avoided in the overwhelming majority of exercises.
You can either do a closed fist or open hand position. Whichever feels more comfortable. Step one foot back, and then the other to begin the Plank.
Performing The Hand Plank
Be careful to not let your hips rise or sag as you were holding the Hand Plank. Maintain a flat back the entire set. If you are having trouble knowing if your back is flat, try performing the exercise in front of a mirror so you can check your form.
Continuously press your hands into the ground and spread your scapula. This will recruit your serratus anterior and get you some extra core work.
How To Progress The Hand Plank:
Like any other exercise, progression is important with the Plank. However, since the Plank is a hold and not a dynamic exercise with reps, it can be challenging knowing how to and when to progress the Plank. Here’s a quick step by step guide on progressing the Plank
Set a range similar to a rep range. For example, 45 to 60 seconds. Let’s say in the beginning you are only able to do 45 seconds. Each week, try to add a bit more time (2-5 secs). Once you are able to complete 60 seconds with good form time to further progress.
Switch to a more difficult variation. The natural next step is switching to the Hand Plank. Keep your same time range of 45-60 seconds. Since this is a more difficult variation you will likely fatigue before 60 seconds. Build your way back to 60 seconds like you did with the Forearm Plank.
Add weight. At this point, it’s time to try adding some resistance to the Plank. Start light! You can either ask a gym buddy or place the weight on your back yourself. Either way, make sure the plate is in the middle of your upper back and not your lumbar spine. Then you can progress the plank similarly to any other exercise. By adding weight bit by bit overtime.
You can continue to progress by going to a more difficult hold (Long Lever Plank, Hollow Hold) and then adding weight to those over time.