How To Do Plank Jacks | Proper Technique

How To Do Plank Jacks | Proper Technique

Want a fun twist on the ol’ plank? Plank jacks are a total body exercise that improves balance and stability. Here’s how to add them to your boxing training.

Published: June 16, 2022

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: Aaron Swenson

There are many plank variation exercises to try, but a favorite for boxing training is the plank jack. The plank jack pairs the classic high plank with the jumping jack to become a challenging full-body exercise that works your core, arms, and legs.

This is a great exercise for strength and conditioning, and boxers like to throw it in between rounds on the bag for an added challenge. Plank jacks also improve stability and balance while strengthening your entire body.

Here’s how to properly do plank jacks, what muscles you are targeting, and how many reps and sets are recommended for beginners.

The Plank Jack

  • Start in a high plank (push-up) position with your hands directly below your shoulders

  • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart

  • Jump your feet in together

  • Jump your feet back out to the starting position, slightly wider than your shoulders

  • Continue jumping in and out

Movement Key Points

Remember, efficient workouts mean quality over quantity. It is more important to execute any exercise with proper form and technique than to do a higher number of reps with sloppy form. Here are some key things to focus on while performing plank jacks:

Start in a high plank, push-up position

  • Tuck your belly towards your spine to keep your core muscles tight and engaged

Start in a high plank, push-up position

Jump your feet out shoulder-width apart each time

Jump your feet out shoulder-width apart each time

Keep your upper body steady

  • Don’t let your back arch upwards or downwards

Keep your upper body steady

Breathing Pattern

Plank jacks will definitely get your heart rate up, but you have to remember to breathe! Deep, slow breaths are recommended as you perform each set of plank jacks, just as you would when holding a high plank. This should be a very controlled movement, so be sure to control your breath at the same time.

Muscles Used

Plank jacks are an excellent full-body exercise. They work your upper and lower body, challenging the core, arms, and legs.

  • Core: abdominals and obliques

  • Pectorals

  • Biceps

  • Triceps

  • Glutes

  • Hamstrings


Plank jacks can be hard at first, but they get easier with practice. Here’s what we recommend for beginners:

  • 3 sets

  • 10 reps

  • Rest for 10 - 15 seconds in between sets

For an added challenge, increase to 30 second sets of however many plank jacks you can do, with around 15 seconds of rest in between sets. You can either maintain the high plank for this rest period or drop to your knees or child’s pose for a quick stretch if you need it.

If you find that a plank jack is too challenging, practice holding the plank and just move one foot out to the side at a time, without swaying your hips. If that is too much, drop to your knees and hold the plank while keeping your back straight as a board.

Work That Body

Plank jacks are a challenging and very effective plank variation that works your whole body. They are an excellent addition to your boxing training to improve balance, stability, and strength.

Train Like a Fighter

Take your workouts to the next level and train like a fighter with the at-home connected fitness solution used by world champion boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. FightCamp has everything you need to work out on your schedule, with premium boxing equipment and hundreds of on-demand strength, conditioning, kickboxing, boxing, core, and recovery classes led by real fighters. As Mike Tyson said - “FightCamp is the next level of training!”

Aaron Swenson

Aaron “Speedy” Swenson began in his family’s Chicago dojo. By 2013, Aaron had two National Kickboxing titles & a USA National Kickboxing Team spot. Aaron is a Founding Coach at FightCamp & USA Boxing Coach certified.

Next Article