Iron cross plank exercise
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Iron cross plank

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Lower Pectoralis Major, Rectus Abdominis
  • Important stabilizers: Upper Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Biceps Brachii (short head only), Obliques, Iliopsoas, Tensor Fasciae Latae, Quadriceps, Sartorius, Serratus Anterior
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
  2. Bring your hands out to the sides as much as you can without letting your chest touch the floor. Your body should form a cross or a T.


  1. Keeping your body rigid and breathing normally, hold this position for the prescribed duration.

Comments and tips

  • In addition to activating the core like most plank exercises do, the iron cross plank also significantly activates the lower pectoralis major and anterior deltoid muscles because the arms are brought out to the sides. These muscles are isometrically activated.
  • The iron cross plank is an advanced exercise. Only attempt this after mastering the high front plank.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe. Do not allow your back to arch or your belly to sag.
  • Make sure your neck is in neutral position. Do not tuck your chin.
  • To make the iron cross plank easier, do not bring your hands out as wide to the sides. To make it more difficult, add a weight plate to your back.
  • For other plank exercises, see also the high front plank, high bird dog plank and weighted front plank.

Iron cross plank video

Sources, Spinal Articulations

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