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ACFT Plank Instructions 2024

ACFT Plank Instructions
ACFT Plank Instructions

These are the detailed instructions for the ACFT Plank exercise assessment in the Army ACFT; it measures a soldier’s core strength and endurance.

  • The Plank event is the fifth assessment in the ACFT and is a core strength and endurance gauge. 
  • The ACFT Plank Event details are as follows:


  • To assess the soldier’s ability to maintain a proper plank position for a specified duration, evaluating core strength and endurance.

Plank Exercise in ACFT: Initial Guidance


  • This exercise is authorized during the ACFT transition year (FY21) as a bridge assessment of core static strength and endurance.
  • Soldiers will be assigned to an alternate test grader for the Plank, with a limit of 5 graded soldiers per grader.

Testing Conditions:

  • Conducted before the start of the 2-mile run (2MR).
  • It should be performed on grass, artificial turf, or a suitable surface that is flat and free of debris.
  • Concrete, hard-top, gravel, and dirt surfaces are not recommended.
  • Alternate graders may start the Plank exercise when there are enough soldiers to grade.
  • The 90-minute individual maximum time to administer the ACFT remains unchanged.

Testing APFT Plank Instructions:

Ready-Position Plank Instructions:

  • Command: “GET READY.”
  • Position: Hands on the ground, either in fists with the pinky side touching the ground or lying flat with palms down.
  • Spacing: No more than the grader’s fist width apart.
  • Posture: Hips bent, with one or both legs resting on the ground.

Preparation Plank Instructions:

  • Command: “GRADERS READY.”
  • Next Command: “GET SET.”
  • Action: Lift both knees off the ground and move the hips into a straight line with legs, shoulders, head, and eyes focused on the ground, similar to the “front leaning rest.”
  • Details:
    • Feet may be up to the graders’ boot width apart.
    • Elbows aligned with shoulders, forearms forming a triangle.
    • Ankles flexed, the bottom of the toes on the ground.
    • Straight body alignment from head to ankles.
    • Fingers on the left hand must not be interlocked or interlaced with the right hand’s fingers.

ACFT Plank Execution Instructions:

  • Command: “GO.”
  • Action: The OIC, NCOIC, or grader starts the clock, and the event begins.
  • Time Calls: The OIC, NCOIC, or grader will call out the time in 15-second intervals until completion.
  • Proper Position: Maintain a straight line from head to heels. Feet, forearms, fists, or palms must remain in contact with the floor throughout.

Termination Criteria Instructions:

  • Event Termination: If the soldier
    1. Touches the floor with any part other than feet, forearms, fists, or palms. 
    2. Raises a foot or hand off the floor. 
    3. Fails to maintain a straight-line position from head to heels.
  • Warning: Graders will give one verbal warning to correct a failure to maintain the proper position or if hands or feet slide from the required position. The performance will be terminated if the soldier cannot correct a deficiency or maintain the proper plank position.
  • Note: Shaking or trembling due to maximum exertion is allowed, provided the proper plank position is maintained.

Grading Instructions:

  • Grader-to-soldier ratio: no more than five soldiers to one grader.

Scoring Instructions:

  • Pass or fail the exercise for a maximum of 60 points.
  • Must maintain the proper Plank position for 2 minutes to earn 60 points.
  • A score of 2:00, followed by the letter PLK (for the Plank), will be entered on the ACFT scorecard in the LTK block if the 2-minute Plank is successfully executed.
  • If the soldier fails to complete the 2-minute Plank, a score of 0 will be entered on the ACFT scorecard in the LTK block, followed by the letter PLK.

Video Demonstration

The following is the video demonstration of the ACFTplank instructions and event.

Instructions for ACFT Plank Conclusion

  • This exercise serves as a transitional measure to assess core strength and endurance in soldiers, which are especially important during loaded foot movements.
  • By observing the provided instructions and maintaining the correct form, soldiers can accurately demonstrate their core capabilities in a challenging yet controlled environment.
  • It also aligns with the Army’s broader physical readiness and injury prevention goals.
George N.