How To Do A Plank Properly
It’s not about how long you can hold a plank, but how long you can hold the proper plank – Rachel Piskin
Plank is a simple and effective bodyweight exercise which can be done anywhere – in the gym, at home, in a park, or in a hotel room while traveling. It can also be used as a fun challenge among friends or gym buddies to see who can hold the position longest.
This simple static exercise – your body doesn’t move during the plank – can effectively challenge all your core muscles. Although it primarily targets your core muscles, it also works on your shoulder, chest, hips, and glutes to hold the body in the position.
How to do Plank hold – Step by step
To get the maximum benefit from any exercise you should know how to do it in the correct form. So let’s take a look on how to do a plank properly.
Step 1. Place your forearms on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Your arms will be parallel to each other.
Step 2. Your toes will hip-width apart.
Step 3. Fix your gaze on the floor 8 to 10 inch in front of you to keep the neck in neutral position.
Step 4. Keep your spine neutral and in line with your hips. Your body should look like a straight line from head to feet.
Step 5. Brace your abdominal to boost the engagement of your core.
Step 6. Hold this plank position for as long as possible. Aim for 1 minute or more.
Common mistakes to avoid
1. Dropping your hips – Sinking of hips puts pressure on your lower back and also reduces the engagement of core muscles. Holding this position for long causes lower back pain.
2. Lifting your hips – Raising the hips up will reduce the effectiveness of the plank thus rob you from a good core exercise. Also, it puts unnecessary pressure on your shoulders.
3. Forgetting to breathe – When the plank position gets harder to maintain you may start to hold the breath. Lack of oxygen will make your muscles fatigue faster.