Plank Exercise Tutorial
How to do the Plank Exercise
The plank is a workout in itself and can be modified for many different fitness levels. Beginners can build up to a full plank by starting out on their knees, and those who are more advanced can do walking or side planks.
No matter how you do it, the proper plank position is the most important thing for maximizing the benefits of this exercise. Generally, a plank is held until you cannot maintain perfect posture and you feel your shoulders or back start to dip or round.
As you gain strength and endurance, you will be able to hold it for longer periods of time. Time yourself to see how long you can hold the plank for, and then try to break your record. Holding a plank for the length of a favourite song is a great motivator, but it’s not necessary to hold it longer than a minute or so to get all the benefits of this core exercise.
Also Known As
There are up to 50 variations of the basic plank exercise, but the main form is known as the Plank Exercise.
Beginner to Advanced
The plank position works the core muscles as well as the shoulders and chest. It also builds stability and balance throughout the whole body.
Step by Step Instructions
- Start on a yoga mat on your hands and knees.
- With hands under your shoulders about shoulder width apart, move your legs back behind you. It will look like the top position of a push up. *To make it easier, move your knees to the ground underneath your hips. You’ll gently rock forward on your knees as you lower down.
- Keep your body raised, pelvis engaged, core engaged for as long as you can.
- Once you feel your hips or back start to dip, back start to round or your arms start to wiggle, lower to the ground and take a short break.
To engage your tricep muscles, try holding the plank with your thumb and index fingers joined in front of you, creating a diamond shape. To engage your abs even more, try holding the plank with your arms further in front and your hands close together.
Tips / Common Mistakes
- Pushing your bum up in the air or letting your back arch won’t give you the results that proper plank form would. If you feel yourself drooping, go back to start and try again.
- Keep your spine as neutral as possible for proper plank form.
- Try not to look down or up, but just straight ahead.
- If you have wrist, arm, or shoulder pain, try lowering onto your forearms.
And that’s how you do the plank exercise.