ACFT Plank Standards – Army Combat Fitness Test

Engaging in ACFT plank exercises has become a popular routine to enhance core strength, balance, and stability. These exercises involve maintaining a straight body line, supported by forearms and toes, for a specified duration. While ACFT planks are straightforward, various standards and variations exist to maximize benefits. This post delves into diverse ACFT plank standards and variations, offering insights to elevate your fitness routine. Whether you’re new to ACFT planks or a seasoned practitioner, this guide is your ticket to advancing your practice. Let’s embark on an exploration of the world of ACFT plank standards.

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Hand-Release Push-Ups (reps)

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Sprint Drag Carry (m:s)

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Plank (m:s)

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2 Mile Run (m:s)

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The Crucial Role of Plank in ACFT

The plank holds a fundamental position in the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), playing a pivotal role in overall physical fitness and readiness. Despite its simplicity, this exercise effectively targets multiple muscle groups, including the core, upper body, and lower body.

The plank isn’t just about building strength; it significantly improves posture, balance, and stability – essential attributes for performing various exercises and combat tasks. By strengthening the muscles supporting the spine, the plank promotes overall spinal alignment, reducing the risk of injuries during physical activities.

Furthermore, the plank serves as an excellent exercise for developing muscular endurance, a vital skill for soldiers engaged in prolonged physical activities. Holding a static position for an extended period aligns with the needs of soldiers who may need to stay stationary during missions.

In summary, incorporating the plank into your training routine contributes to improved physical fitness, a reduced risk of injury, and better preparation for the challenges posed by the ACFT and combat.

Diverse ACFT Plank Standards Based on Age and Gender

While the ACFT plank is a universal test for core strength and endurance among U.S. Army soldiers, standards vary based on age and gender. Recognizing the diverse physical abilities and fitness levels within different groups, the standards ensure a fair evaluation:

  • For male soldiers aged 17-21, the minimum plank duration is 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
  • Male soldiers aged 22-26 aim for a minimum of 2 minutes and 9 seconds.
  • The standard for male soldiers aged 27-31 is 2 minutes and 12 seconds.
  • Male soldiers aged 32-36 target 2 minutes and 15 seconds.
  • Finally, male soldiers aged 37-41 aim for 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

For female soldiers, the standards vary accordingly:

  • Female soldiers aged 17-21 target a minimum plank duration of 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  • Female soldiers aged 22-26 aim for 1 minute and 36 seconds.
  • Female soldiers aged 27-31 have a standard of 1 minute and 40 seconds.
  • For female soldiers aged 32-36, the goal is 1 minute and 43 seconds.
  • Finally, female soldiers aged 37-41 aim for 1 minute and 46 seconds.

These are minimum standards, and exceeding them indicates superior physical condition. Soldiers falling below these standards may need remedial training to enhance core strength and endurance.

Tips to Enhance ACFT Plank Performance

If you’re looking to improve your ACFT plank performance, consider these effective tips:

  1. Engage Core Muscles: Focus on squeezing your abs, glutes, and quadriceps throughout the exercise for effective engagement.
  2. Maintain a Straight Line: Ensure your body remains in a straight line from head to heels, avoiding hip sagging or raising your butt.
  3. Regular Practice: Consistency is key. Regularly practice, gradually increasing time and intensity to build stamina and strength.
  4. Use a Timer: Keep yourself accountable by using a timer, starting with shorter intervals and extending as you progress.
  5. Incorporate Variations: Challenge yourself with variations like side planks, plank jacks, and elevated planks to target different muscle groups.

By following these tips, you can enhance your plank performance, building strength and endurance to meet and exceed ACFT standards.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, ACFT plank standards play a crucial role in the physical fitness training of military personnel. Plank exercises effectively improve core strength, stability, and endurance. These standards offer a structured approach to measuring and tracking progress, ensuring military personnel are well-prepared for the physical demands of their roles. Adhering to ACFT plank standards and incorporating these exercises into routines contribute to overall fitness improvement and injury risk reduction. Ultimately, ACFT plank standards contribute to the readiness and effectiveness of the armed forces.

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