The exercise you love to hate!!!
When I teach a class or I am personal training and I say, “Today we are going to do planks” there is a collective groan!
Even if its only for 20 seconds!
But they truly are one of the best core exercises!
The Benefits of Doing Planks-
There are many benefits to doing planks during your ab workouts! Some are obvious and some are surprising!
-They can improve your posture!
-They can help lessen back pain!
-They can help improve your core strength!
-It can help build some muscle!
-It hits the 4 major core muscle groups- transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, the oblique muscles as well as the glutes.
-Strengthens the arm and leg muscles!
-It can help improve your balance!
How to do a Plank Correctly-
A basic plank is very simple!
Go into a push-up position, placing your hands directly under your shoulders! Place your gaze directly towards the floor with your neck being inline with your back! Your body from the back of your head to your heels should be in a straight line! Your feet are parallel and your toes are curled under with your heels facing the wall behind you!
Contract your stomach, back and glute muscles. Take your shoulders back and down. Drawing your shoulder blades towards each other but not scrunching them up.
Make sure you breathe. These breaths will at first be more shallow but as you get stronger you will be able to take deeper breaths!
*Some common mistakes-
Lifting your butt up in the air
Shoulders being behind the elbows
Being almost in a down dog position
Sagging in the middle
Not holding your stomach in
How Long Should You Hold a Plank-
There is no magic number but you get more benefit from holding a plank multiple times in shorter intervals!
It would be better to start with 10 seconds for 5-10 times, even if it is broken up throughout the day! This would be if you are a beginner!
If you are an experienced exerciser and have been doing abs on a regular basis you could start with 20 seconds 5-10 times again throughout the day!
You then could work up to 30 seconds at a time!
Long held planks are actually not as productive, because they do not replicate real life movements! No one stays in that position for a long time!
A Plank Challenge-
I am issuing a plank challenge!!!
Try to do three, 20 second correct planks a day, every other day for 2 weeks! You should get a total of 7 days in in two weeks!
If you are a beginner start with 10 seconds instead of 20!
If you’re in, comment below-
I look forward to hearing all your successes!!!
PS-A huge thank you to my friend Candice for being my model!!!!