Decline Plank with Foot Touch

Decline Plank with Foot Touch

This is one serious ab move that is as effective as it is brutal. 

The Decline Plank with Foot Touch, or DPFT, is a compound total bodyweight resistance exercise that primarily targets the abs, quads, obliques, and hams. It also targets secondary muscle groups, such as those in the chest, calves, hip flexors, triceps, and shoulders. 

Planks are extremely versatile, touting a never-ending series of variations. As DPFTs are an advanced planking move, you may want to master the basic plank first. Then, when you’ve nailed the basic plank, you can begin progressing with more challenging variations. 

History of the Plank

Joseph Pilates is the man most commonly credited for the invention of the plank. You likely know him from the famous contrology method of training, which was established in the early 20th century. It was named after him, dubbed “pilates.”

In pilates, planks are performed in reps. They involve a movement where the leg is pulled in front as opposed to a stationary hold contraction. This version is not unlike the dynamic DPFT version. 

The plank also makes an appearance in a portion of the dreaded burpee. This notoriously taxing and diabolical exercise was invented by Royal H. Burpee in the 1930s, and the thought of it leaves most of us lamenting the torture of gym class. At the very bottom of the burpee, after you squat jump up, you fall into a plank.

Planking of its own accord wasn’t actually a thing until 2005, when Brian MacKenzie rolled out his 101 Performance Evaluation Tests for physical fitness manual. It included the plank as an isolation exercise, and since then the plank has taken the modern world by storm. 

Planking became a popular pastime for social media enthusiasts throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s. It became a sort of challenge to see how many people would be willing to planks in random locations. 

How to Perform a DPFT

Step 1: Find a sturdy chair, bench, box, exercise ball, or other platform high enough to put your head down in low plank position.

Step 2: Lay face down and assume the pushup position, with your hands and forearms planted slightly wider than shoulder width on the floor. Perching on the platform with your toes, engage your core, look down, and maintain a straight line throughout your body. This is the starting position. 

Step 3: Hold for one count.

Step 4: Without allowing your hips to sag, remove your left foot from your platform, coming out to the side and lowering it to the floor in a slow and controlled motion. 

Step 5: While maintaining control throughout the movement, slowly lift the left leg back up to the platform. 

Step 6: Repeat the process with your right foot. 

Step 7: Alternate feet to perform the recommended reps in your set. 

Benefits

There are many reasons to love planking. Here are some things that planking can do:

  • Reduce lower back pain
  • Improve mental and physical health
  • Strengthen the lumbo-pelvic hip complex
  • Increase upper-body strength
  • Tighten and strengthen the core
  • Help control breathing patterns
  • Minimize lumbar tension
  • Strengthen the upper-body
  • Reduce lower-back pain
  • Burn calories
  • Increase heart rate
  • Strengthen the lumbo-pelvic hip complex
  • Improve mental and physical health
  • Minimize lumbar tension

Variations

  • Wall Plank
  • Plank Steps
  • Groiners
  • Plank Jacks
  • Marching Wall Plank
  • Decline Marching Wall Plank

Walk the Plank into Cardio

DPFTs are excellent because they take a static contraction exercise and make it a great addition to a dynamic cardio routine.

Users get to kill two birds with one stone, effectively training their core while getting their heart-rate up. It also targets obliques, which help enhance the shape of any midriff. 

Take advantage of optimizing your workout time by adopting the DPFT as part of your workout regimen.

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