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Plank To Alternating Row 101 Video Tutorial

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Plank Row
Plank Row

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Pull (Bilateral)

Required Equipment


Fitness Level












The Plank Row is a dynamic exercise that targets the abs as its primary muscle group, while also engaging the lower back as a secondary target. In this exercise, individuals assume a plank position with their hands gripping dumbbells placed directly beneath their shoulders. While maintaining a stable core and neutral spine, they perform a rowing motion by lifting one dumbbell at a time towards the hip, retracting the shoulder blade and engaging the latissimus dorsi muscles. This exercise not only strengthens the core muscles but also enhances overall stability and balance, making it an effective addition to any strength training routine.

How to Perform

  1. Begin the Plank Row exercise by assuming a pushup position, with your hands gripping a pair of dumbbells placed directly beneath your shoulders.

  2. Ensure that your arms are straight, with your palms facing each other and your hands positioned directly under your shoulders.

  3. Engage your core muscles by tightening your abs and keeping your elbows close to your body throughout the movement.

  4. Initiate the rowing motion by lifting one dumbbell off the ground, pulling your elbow up as high as possible while squeezing your shoulder blades back.

  5. Lower the dumbbell back to the ground with control, then repeat the movement with the other arm.

  6. Alternate between arms, performing the rowing motion in a controlled manner until all repetitions are completed.

  7. Focus on maintaining a stable plank position throughout the exercise, avoiding any rotation or excessive movement in the hips or lower back.

  8. Breathe steadily and rhythmically throughout the movement, exhaling as you lift the dumbbell and inhaling as you lower it back down.

  9. Keep your neck in a neutral position, avoiding any excessive tilting or straining. This helps to prevent neck discomfort and maintains proper alignment.

  10. Gradually increase the weight of the dumbbells as you progress to continue challenging your abs and lower back muscles effectively.


  1. Maintain proper alignment by preventing any twisting or turning of the back during the exercise.

  2. Keep your hips, head, and heels aligned in a straight line throughout the movement to ensure optimal engagement of the abs and lower back.

  3. Focus on stability by avoiding any lateral movement of the torso or hips while rowing the dumbbell up. This helps to isolate the target muscles and prevents strain on the lower back.

  4. Engage your core muscles to stabilize the spine and pelvis, maintaining a neutral position throughout the exercise.

  5. Concentrate on controlled movements, avoiding any jerking or sudden shifts in body position that could compromise form and effectiveness.

  6. Ensure that your grip on the dumbbell is secure and stable to prevent slipping or loss of control during the rowing motion.

  7. Keep a slight bend in the elbows to avoid hyperextension and distribute the workload evenly between the arms and core muscles.

  8. Focus on breathing rhythmically throughout the exercise, inhaling as you lower the dumbbell and exhaling as you row it up.

  9. Visualize the muscles working as you perform the exercise, emphasizing the contraction of the abs and lower back with each repetition.

  10. Gradually increase the intensity of the exercise by adding more weight or performing more repetitions as your strength and stability improve over time.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid arching the back: Maintain a straight line from head to heels, avoiding excessive arching or rounding of the lower back, which can strain the spine and diminish the effectiveness of the exercise.

  2. Don't lift the hips: Keep the hips level with the rest of the body throughout the movement to prevent overarching or sagging, ensuring proper engagement of the abs and minimizing strain on the lower back.

  3. Avoid excessive rotation: Keep the torso stable and avoid twisting excessively while rowing the dumbbell, as excessive rotation can lead to strain on the spine and detract from targeting the abs and lower back effectively.

  4. Don't rush the movement: Perform each repetition with control and focus, avoiding jerky or rapid movements that can compromise form and increase the risk of injury. Instead, focus on quality over quantity to maximize muscle engagement.

  5. Avoid lifting the dumbbell too high: Aim to lift the dumbbell towards the ribcage, rather than excessively high, to maintain proper alignment and prevent unnecessary strain on the shoulders and neck.

  6. Don't neglect core stability: Prioritize engaging the core muscles throughout the exercise to stabilize the spine and pelvis, ensuring proper form and reducing the risk of injury to the lower back.

  7. Avoid using momentum: Refrain from swinging or using momentum to lift the dumbbell, as this diminishes the effectiveness of the exercise and can lead to compensatory movements that shift the focus away from the abs and lower back.

  8. Don't grip the dumbbell too tightly: Maintain a firm but relaxed grip on the dumbbell to avoid unnecessary tension in the hands and forearms, allowing for smoother and more controlled movements.

  9. Avoid holding your breath: Remember to breathe steadily and rhythmically throughout the exercise, inhaling as you lower the dumbbell and exhaling as you row it up, to maintain oxygen flow to the muscles and sustain energy levels.

  10. Don't neglect proper warm-up: Prioritize warming up the muscles and joints before performing the plank row to prevent injuries and ensure optimal performance during the exercise. Incorporate dynamic stretches and mobility exercises to prepare the body for the movement.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.


Body Weight