How To Do Plank

Chris Freytag demonstrates a Full Plank

Plank is a core body move that strengthens all abdominal and low back muscles as well as arms, shoulders, back and chest muscles. If you haven’t heard about the benefits of a Plank by now, you might be living under a rock. The Plank is one of the best exercises around for strengthening your core and giving you a stable mid-section to keep your back healthy, your posture tall and your tummy flat! Many people who are striving for a flat belly are under the notion that they must be doing exercises that move up and down or “flex” the abs. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you want a flat belly you need to learn how to do Plank!

Plank is an isometric exercise, meaning there is no movement involved. The muscle is tensed and fights against gravity to stay tight. And while it may not be moving, it is definitely working. In fact most trainers and physical therapists will tell you that isometric exercises are the best moves for providing strength with less risk of injury or straining tendons or soft tissue.

There are many variations to the Plank. Once you have established good form and can hold your plank for at least 30 seconds or a minute, you can try other moves such as a plank with arm balance or a plank with arm and leg balance. Our program 6 Plank Variations For Awesome Abs gives you an awesome variety of different planks that will keep you from getting bored but work your core like crazy.

Be sure to practice plank on your knees until you are able to hold your back in a straight line with no sagging. Keep your shoulder blades pulled back away from your ears and if your wrists hurt try holding onto some dumbbells or making to fists and placing them down instead of your palms.

Here are the steps to performing Plank:

1) Begin kneeling on all fours with hand directly under shoulders and toes on the mat.

2) Tighten abdominals and raise your body up off the floor, lengthening legs behind you. Hold entire body tight for desired amount of time and breathe.

Targets: arms, shoulders, core

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