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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 56: Plank Saw Over Toes

Exercise: Plank Saw Over Toes

Purpose: To keep the spine stable in a sagittal plane bias using the core musculature isometrically, and advancing up and down using the shoulders, toes and ankles

What It Targets: Dynamic stabilization of the Core Musculature: Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Transverse Abdominis; Periscapular and Shoulder Musculature: Serratus Anterior, Middle/Lower Trapezius, Pectoralis Major/Minor, Middle/Posterior Deltoid; Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Toe Flexors/Extensors


  1. Lay on your stomach with your spine in a straight, stacked alignment with legs and trunk parallel.

  2. Bend your elbows and place your palms face down on the floor with your elbows directly below your shoulders.

  3. Place your feet on the floor with your toes curled underneath you.

  4. Lift your hips and pelvis towards the ceiling keeping all the above cues the same.

  5. Imagine there is a magnet between you elbows and your toes. You should tension build across your entire abdomen.

  6. Maintaining core stability, pull your elbows down to advance your entire trunk and legs forward, pointing the toes and ankles.

  7. Return to the start position by pressing your forearms up towards the top of your head.

  8. Hold for as long as prescribed.

  9. Repeat as many times as prescribed.

Main Cues:

  • Keep your trunk in line with your legs

  • Keep your elbows directly below your shoulders and press your forearms/elbows into the floor using your shoulder blade muscles

  • Imagine there is a magnet between you elbows and your toes

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Arching and/or pain in the low back

Correction: Tuck your pelvis into a posterior tilt, using your glutes; Produce and maintain tension throughout your entire core. A full exhale helps; Decrease the time spent in the plank; Regress to performing the plank on your knees

  • Sagging of the hips

Correction: Lift your hips as if there is a fire underneath you but without flexing at your hips or waist. You should feel a solid core burn throughout the entirety of your !

  • Pain in the shoulders

Correction: Press the floor away with your whole arm with emphasis on shoulder blade activation; Be mindful to not let your shoulders hike up towards your ears; Decrease the time spent in the plank; Regress to performing the plank on your knees

  • Pain in neck

Correction: Keep your head in line with the rest of your spine, do not let it hang down towards the floor or flex forward toward your chest

  • Pain in feet/toes

Correction: Reduce the range of motion of trunk movement; Place toes on a soft surface like a foam pad or pillow; Regress to a regular plank without movement

Why We Love It:

  • It’s a functional whole body exercise that challenges the core muscles in the frontal plane

  • It’s great for building scapular/ shoulder controlled mobility and endurance

  • It requires no equipment!

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.

Keep It Moving Physical Therapy & Wellness

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Suite 200 (Inside Muscle Mind Movement)

Burlington, MA 01803

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