The plank is a great exercise for developing core stability. It may look simple, but it works a variety of muscles such as the rectus abdominus (the “6-pack” area), the transverse abdominal, the obliques and the erector spinae (your back). Concentrate on engaging these muscles during the plank.
In order to benefit and target the correct muscles, it is important to check your technique. Here is your step by step guide.
STEP 1: Get your top half into position
Get onto your hands and knees (Facing towards the floor)
Rest on your forearms
Ensure shoulders are directly over your elbows
STEP 2: Get your lower half into position
Straighten your legs out behind you and balance on your toes.
Lift up your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles
If you need to make it easier at first, then balance on your knees instead of your toes
STEP 3: Check your position & hold
Concentrate on pulling your belly button in towards your spine
Balance on your forearms and toes, with your lower abdomen and back working to keep your body straight
Hold for 30 seconds (this can vary, from 10-60 seconds as you build up strength)
CHECK you are not sinking or sagging:
Make sure that across your shoulders your back doesn’t ‘sink’ down (if anything, try to push it out ie up towards the ceiling).
Make sure your lower back and belly button don’t sink down towards the floor in order to maintain your straight line. (Do it near a mirror, or get someone to watch, or video it to check!)
Already a bit of a whizz with the plank? Once you have tried holding the position for longer periods of time, you can then progress to raising one leg, or even doing the ‘Superman’! The best part, is that you don’t need any equipment and you can do it anywhere. Who knew there was so much fun to be had with the plank!