Plank (PLK)

You’ll maintain a proper plank position for as long as possible.

The PLK tests the Muscular Endurance component of fitness by measuring your core strength and endurance. Balance is a secondary component of fitness assessed by the PLK.

Proper technique

Starting position

On the command “GET READY” your hands must be on the ground, either in fists with the pinky side of your hand touching the ground or lying flat with your palms down, no more than fist-width apart. Your elbows will be bent, aligned with your shoulders and your forearms flat on the ground forming a triangle. Your hips should be bent with one or both knees resting on the ground.


  • On the command “GET SET,” you will lift both knees off the ground, with your feet up to boot-width apart, and move your hips into a straight line with your legs, shoulders, head, and eyes focused on the ground
  • Your elbows should be aligned with your shoulders, along with your forearms to form a triangle, and your ankles should be flexed with the bottom of your toes on the ground
  • You’ll maintain your body in straight alignment from your head to your ankles
  • Your fingers may not be interlocked, interlaced, or touching, and your hands can be no more than a boot-width apart
  • On the command “GO,” you’ll move into the proper plank position with your head, shoulders, back, hips, and legs in a straight line from head to heels throughout the event
  • Your feet, forearms, and fists or palms must remain in contact with the ground
  • As long as your hands remain in contact with the ground, you may change your hand position from the fist-pinky side down to palms down during the plank
  • The event is terminated if any part of the body other than your feet, forearms, fists, or palms touch the ground, if you raise a foot or hand off the ground, or if you fail to maintain a straight-line position from head to heels
  • You will receive one verbal warning to correct your position, and the event will be terminated if you’re unable to correct a deficiency or maintain the proper plank position

Additional information

Fitness components

  • Muscular endurance
  • Balance

More to consider

Shaking or trembling as a result of maximum exertion is permitted as long as you maintain the proper plank position.

Scoring the Plank

You’ll maintain a proper plank in the straightline position for as long as possible, with different benchmarks for time depending on your age and gender. Download the scoring scale to see what’s expected.

Min. points (60) 01:30
Max. points (100) 03:40
For ages 17 – 21
  • You’ll need to score a minimum of 60 points on each event to pass the ACFT with a total score of 360
  • The maximum score you can receive per event is 100 points for a total score of 600
  • The requirement for each event varies according to gender and age


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