ACFT Plank Instructions – Army Combat Fitness Test

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of mastering the plank exercise, a vital component of the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). Whether you’re a soldier gearing up for the ACFT or someone aiming to strengthen your core, these instructions will be your go-to resource for enhancing your fitness goals. So, let’s jump into the world of ACFT plank instructions without delay!

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The Benefits of Planking in ACFT

Planking offers a multitude of benefits for excelling in the ACFT. Here’s why incorporating planks into your training is a game-changer:

  1. Builds Core Strength: Strengthening your core is key to ACFT success. A robust core enhances body stability and power transfer, making tasks like the leg tuck easier.
  2. Improves Posture: Planking works wonders for your back and shoulder muscles, promoting better posture. This is crucial for exercises like the deadlift and standing power throw, where spine alignment matters.
  3. Increases Endurance: As a static exercise, planking boosts muscular endurance. This endurance proves handy in exercises like hand-release push-ups and sprint-drag-carry.
  4. Reduces Risk of Injury: Being a low-impact exercise, planking is gentle on your joints. By fortifying your core and refining posture, you decrease the chance of injuries during other ACFT exercises.
  5. Easy to Do Anywhere: Planking requires no fancy equipment and can be done anywhere – at home, in the gym, or on the go. It’s a convenient addition to your ACFT training routine.

In summary, planking is a potent exercise to elevate your ACFT performance. By embracing planks, you’ll fortify your core, enhance posture, boost endurance, minimize injury risks, all while requiring minimal equipment and time commitment.

Mastering the Proper Form for Planking

To reap the full benefits of planking while steering clear of injuries, maintaining proper form is crucial. Follow these tips for perfect plank form:

  1. Starting Position: Begin in a push-up stance with hands shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width apart.
  2. Straight Body Line: Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core for lifted hips and a straight back.
  3. Avoid Arching or Sagging: Steer clear of arching or sagging your back to prevent unnecessary strain on your spine.
  4. Neutral Neck Position: Look down at the floor, maintaining a neutral neck position rather than tilting your head up.
  5. Breathe Deeply: Breathe evenly throughout, focusing on maintaining form over holding the plank for a specific time.

By adhering to these form tips, you’ll maximize the effectiveness of your plank workout while minimizing the risk of injury.

Exploring Planking Exercise Variations

While the standard plank is excellent, injecting variety keeps things engaging and challenging. Here are some plank variations to try:

  1. Side Plank: Balance on one arm and foot while lifting the opposite arm and leg. This targets oblique muscles and enhances balance.
  2. Plank Jacks: Add a cardio element by jumping your feet in and out during the plank. This targets legs and core.
  3. Plank with Leg Lift: Elevate one leg off the ground during the plank to target glutes and lower back.
  4. Plank with Arm Raise: Lift one arm off the ground during the plank to target upper back muscles and improve shoulder stability.
  5. Walking Plank: Alternate arms while moving from a high plank to a low plank. This targets shoulders, chest, and triceps.

Incorporating these variations into your ACFT plank routine builds a stronger and more resilient core, elevating your overall fitness. Always maintain proper form and seek guidance from a trainer or healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program.

Making Planking a Part of Your ACFT Training Routine

Planking is an excellent addition to your ACFT training routine, not only strengthening your core but also improving posture and balance. Here’s how to seamlessly integrate planking into your routine:

  1. Start with Shorter Planks: If you’re new to planking, begin with shorter durations, gradually increasing as you get more comfortable. Aim for 10-15 second planks initially.
  2. Mix It Up: Don’t limit yourself to traditional forearm planks. Explore side planks, high planks, and various plank variations to challenge your core in different ways.
  3. Warm-Up with Planking: Use planking as a warm-up exercise to activate your core muscles and prepare your body for more intense workouts.
  4. Finish Strong with Planking: Cap off your workout with a few rounds of planking to truly challenge your core muscles.

Remember to maintain proper form – a straight line from head to heels, engaged core muscles, and consistent breathing. With consistent practice, planking will become a staple in your ACFT training routine, enhancing your overall fitness and performance.

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