The RKC Plank is Massively Overrated: Try This Brand New Plank Variation to Blast Your Core

by Jordan Syatt August 11, 2015

The RKC Plank. The goal is to create as much tension as possible throughout your entire body.

The RKC Plank gets a whole lot of lovin’ among personal trainers and not for bad reason.

It’s an effective drill that can dramatically increase anterior core (AKA your abs) activation while simultaneously teaching you how to create total body tension.


The RKC Plank is Overrated

There, I said it.

The RKC Plank is a massively overrated exercise especially for intermediate to advanced lifters.

While the RKC Plank can be good for beginners, as a lifter progresses in strength the RKC plank becomes increasingly useless.

To help you better understand why the RKC Plank isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I filmed the short video below explaining the RKC Plank as well as a brand new plank variation of my own creation which is far more effective (and brutal on the abs).

The RKC Plank is Massively Overrated

Try This Brand New Plank Variation to Blast Your Core

The RKC Plank: A Brief Re-Cap

Without going into mind numbingly boring detail, the RKC plank purposefully forces you to generate as much tension as possible throughout your entire body from your toes all the way to your fists.

And while this can be useful in some circumstances, in this instance when you generate tension throughout your entire body, you rely less on your core muscles to stabilize your torso and more on the stability you’ve created elsewhere throughout your body.

RKC Plank

While this isn’t inherently a bad thing, the goal of a plank is to strengthen your core muscles to resist lumbar hyperextension (i.e. overarching your lower back) – not to increase muscular activation simply for the sake of increasing muscular activation. 

Granted, muscular activation is a very important component to consider when designing a training program and considering exercise selection, but other factors must be taken into account as well, not least of which includes understanding the goal of the exercise in question and how to perform it to get the most bang for your buck. 

With that in mind, when performing planks my goal is not to increase muscular activation.

Rather, my goal is to create an environment that challenges my core musculature to work their hardest while resisting lumbar hyperextension. And, not so coincidentally, the long lever low tension plank does exactly that while simultaneously increasing anterior core activation.

It’s a win-win.

The Long Lever Low Tension Plank

Technique Points

1. Get in a standard plank position: if it’s too easy, increase the lever arm by keeping your elbows in the same spot while moving your feet further back. Learn exactly how to do that in THIS ARTICLE.

2. Maintain a neutral spine: do not allow your lower back to cave inward (slip into lumbar hyperextension). Brace your abs and make sure your lower back is completely flat the entire time.

3. Relax your entire body: except for your abs, consciously focus on relaxing your feet, calves, quads, butt, shoulders, hamstrings, and fist. The more relaxed they become the harder the drill will be for you abdominals. 

The Science Behind Weighted Planks: Are They Really Worth It?

^^^Click to Learn The Truth About Weighted Planks^^^

Programming Considerations

Frequency: 2-4x/week

Intensity: On a scale of 1-10, difficulty should fluctuate between 5-9 on a regular basis

Sets & Reps: 2-4 sets of 10-30 seconds per set

Workout Placement: near the beginning of your training session as a warm-up (in the 5-6 difficulty range) or the tail end of your training session after your main strength movements (in the 7-9 difficulty range).

Have You Downloaded the Deadlift Bible?

(It’s Free)

powerlifter diet

Downloaded and read by thousands of lifters, The Deadlift Bible is my own creation complete with 4 instructional video tutorials and an entire training manual outlining optimal deadlift technique, progressions, programming, and more.

Plug in your info below and I’ll send your free copy directly to your e-mail in less than 60-seconds.

Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal.


Want to Learn How to Lose Fat and Build Muscle?

Then take this free gift. Seriously, take it. HURRY.

    THE SF INNER CIRCLE Members-Only Content

    From Jordan Syatt, Every Month




    Recent Posts

    How To Do A Proper Deadlift

    Have you ever thought that maybe you think deadlifting is bad for you because maybe you don’t know how to…

    Read This

    Deadlifts vs. Squats

    I think it’s time we all get on the same page regarding deadlifts vs. squats. There are so many contradicting…

    Read This

    How To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

    “Jordan... PLEASE tell me how to lose weight without counting calories!” I hear this question all the time and yes…

    Read This

    How To Stop Binge Eating

    You want to know how to stop binge eating? Ah, right. That’s probably why you clicked on this blog post.…

    Read This

    How to Do Your First One Arm Pushup (Or 10 in a Row)

    Read This

    7 Intense Travel WODS: 15min or Less and Minimal Equipment

    Travel WODSToday I'll show you how to burn fat & build muscle while travelling without a gym. At the end…

    Read This

    101 “Silver Strength Bullets” to Build Strength & Burn Fat Fast

    "Silver Strength Bullets" are my weekly shortlist of quick, actionable bullets to get you stronger, leaner, and performing at a higher…

    Read This

    New Deadlift Drill for Advanced Lifters: Cable Lumbar Extensions

    Before the internet shits itself because I'm rounding my back, this drill is not for beginner lifters or general fitness…

    Read This

    Rapid Fat Loss: It Actually Works Pretty Damn Well

    They get a bad reputation -- especially among some of the fitness goo roos -- but rapid fat loss protocols actually…

    Read This

    The MOST Common Deadlift Mistake Women Make (And How to Fix It)

    I chose this as the feature picture -- not because she has good technique -- but because she's making the same deadlift…

    Read This