The Plank is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.
Commonly practiced in pilates and yoga, and by those training for boxing and other sports.
The Plank benefits are:
- Is it strengthens the abdominal muscles and tightens up the mid-section as you become stronger.
- Strengthens back and shoulders
- Reduces back problems and back pain.
- Improves flexibility
- Improves balance and posture
With exercise, sometimes the simplest of movements result in the greatest gains to your fitness. To do a plank, you hold your body (the trunk portion) off the ground, making sure to hold it in a straight line.
If you’ve never tried it, it may look easy, almost too easy to be beneficial, but this is deceiving. While getting into the proper form is straightforward, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core.
The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance.
There are many variations you can try to add intensity and work different areas of your body.
Perform the basic Plank exercise
- “Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your wrists in line with your elbows.
- Push your body up into your upper back and hold your chin close to your neck (like you’re holding an egg between your chin and your throat).
- In this position, brace your abdominals—contract them like expecting a punch in your stomach, squeeze your gluteal (tailbone) and thigh muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.
- Hold a plank at least 20 to 30 seconds. (When using correct form, it is not necessary to hold it for longer than this amount of time.) Rest for approximately one minute and repeat three to five more times.
- Start doing the plank using your elbows and toes (feel free to drop to your knees if necessary) and progress up to a high plank when you feel you have developed the necessary strength.”