Similar to crunches, forearm bridges strengthen the rectus abdominis muscle.
A forearm bridge, also known as a front plank, is an exercise targeted at strengthening the rectus abdominis muscle and the hard-to-reach transversus abdominis muscle. Unlike situps or crunches, which also strengthen the rectus abdominis muscle, the forearm bridge is an isometric exercise. When muscles contract isometrically, there is very little movement, yet the muscle is fully activated. Additional muscles involved are the obliques and anterior thigh muscles, while the intrinsic back muscles serve as antagonist stabilizers. Forearm bridges may be held until muscle failure, or performed in repetitions.1.
Place your mat on a flat surface.2.
Lie down on the mat, with your stomach facing the ground.3.
Place your forearms on the mat, positioning your elbows beneath your shoulders. You may place your hands flat on the floor, palms down, or make fists.4.
Place your forefeet on the floor, with your legs parallel to one another and fully extended.5.
Raise your body by contracting your core muscles. When in the fully raised position, your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels.6.
Hold this position for your desired set length, then slowly lower your body to the ground.
- Exercise mat (optional)
- To make this exercise easier, perform it on bent knees, rather than the forefeet.
- To increase the difficulty, add weight, such as sandbags, on your hips or lower back.
- Avoid injury by periodically checking your form. Do not allow your back to arch and stomach to sag toward the ground.