How to Do a Plank

How about if we told you that by doing just one move, you could tighten your abs, firm up your booty, and strengthen your arms? No, it’s not too good to be true. The one move that can do it all is the plank. It’s one of the best overall core conditioners around, and unlike crunches, it keeps your spine protected in a neutral position. Plus, it’s difficult to exhaust the number of planking possibilities.  Here’s a breakdown of how to do a plank properly, an explanation of plank benefits, and three of the best plank exercises to work your abs.

How to Do a Plank

There a few different kinds of planks, including the forearm plank, side plank, and full plank (sometimes known as a straight-arm plank). Here’s how to do a full plank with perfect form:

  • Assume a push-up position: Get on all fours with your feet together and your body straight from head to heels..
  • Make sure your wrists are directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Squeeze your glutes and brace your core by drawing your belly button into the spine to lock your body into position. (To achieve this, sometimes it helps to imagine that someone is about to punch you in the gut.)

To do a forearm plank, assume a push-up position, but place your weight on your forearms instead of your hands, with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Then, follow the rest of the items on the checklist above.

How to Do a Plank for Beginners

Never done a plank before? Don’t be intimidated. It’s easy to work your way up to doing one like a pro. First, start with either the basic full plank or forearm plank. If the full plank hurts your wrist, then opt for the forearm plank, or prop yourself up on large dumbbells or push-up bars.

It’s okay to start small. “Unless someone is used to doing full body push-ups, it’s likely that when they first try a plank they would not be able to hold it for even five seconds,” Heaner says. “So for a beginner, holding it for five seconds, resting, then picking it up again for another five seconds, and so on, is a sensible approach.” She suggests adding five to 10 seconds to your plank every week to work your way up to holding it for a full minute. “It’s fine to do them everyday since they are an endurance exercise.”

When you become comfortable holding a basic plank for 10-30 seconds, Heaner says you can progress to more advanced variations, like side planks. You can also escalate the forearm or full plank by doing a single-arm or single-leg plank, which involves turning the torso or lifting one arm or one leg (or even one arm and one leg).

Full article source found here: Beach Body On Demand