Tutorial: Triceps Toning Plank Press & Rear Delt Flys

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The Triceps Toning Plank Press & Rear Delt Flys is an upper body exercise that works the trifecta of triceps, rear delts and core. But the benefits don’t stop there; in reality you get so much more from this exercise, including the front and medium deltoids, pectorals, biceps, abdominals... almost the entire upper body is engaged with this!  Doing it in proper form will provide great benefit and allow you to see results quickly; saving a little time is always a good thing.

A set is 7-12 repetitions or more, but start from where you are able to and work your way up to this (look below at the "make it work for you" section for tips and advice, and an alternate way of doing the exercise for beginner and intermediate Summer-Fitters).


For this exercise, you will need a yoga mat or some form of non-skid surface to lie on. To perform the exercise as I have demonstrated it, you will need Stroops or tubing. However, I do also show a way to perform it without the resistance bands and still get excellent results.


Proper Technique, Posture and Tips

  • Start in a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Hold the Stroops in a narrow grip, less than shoulder width apart. I mention a couple of different grips for the Stroops in the video.
  • Keep your feet together throughout the exercise, with straight legs and soft knees.
  • Pull your lats and shoulder blades downward towards your waist.
  • Make sure your weight is forward over your hands and not too much towards your feet throughout this exercise.
  • Anterior pelvic tilt (stick your tush towards the ceiling), and then pull your abs in without lifting the rest of your body upward.
  • Lower your body down to the floor and put your chest directly onto the stroops, resting completely once there. During this motion, your hands and your arms should be very close to your body. Think of your elbows squeezing your torso as you do this motion.
  • Stretch your arms all the way out, keeping your hands elevated off the floor, and hold this position for a split second. Make sure that your traps, upper shoulders and neck are not tense at this point. Your head should be in alignment with your spine; think of your face being parallel to the floor.
  • Return your arms back to the body, placing your hands next to your armpits.
  • Pull your abs in as much as you can, make sure not to arch your lower back, keep your elbows close to your torso, and  press back off of the floor to return to the neutral plank position you started in. This is one repetition.

Remember; If during the exercise you feel the need to reposition the grip on your Stroops to maintain proper tension, take the time to do so.

This will produce optimal results.


Make it Work for You
Maintaining the form and posture mentioned above is more important than anything else. Therefore, focus on quality over quantity. Over time, you will build up the quantity of reps if you focus on the quality of your form now. So consider doing multiple sets of low reps if you are unable to do a long single set. You will still get all the repetitions in if you think of the "big picture."

If you find the standard exercise to be overly challenging, there are a couple of variations you can use a springboard to work your way towards the full-blown version.

Intermediate Summer-Fitters: Start off in the plank as described above, and put one knee on the floor for support, while doing the exercise exactly as described above.

Beginner Summer-Fitters: Start off in the plank as described above, and put both knees on the floor for support, while doing the exercise exactly as described above.

As a note, be sure to put some cushioning, like a folded yoga mat, towel or sweatshirt under your knees if you do one of these alternate versions.

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