HOW TO PLANK

WHAT IS A PLANK?

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The plank is a bodyweight exercise which involves holding the trunk part of your body in a straight line off the ground. The static exercise engages multiple muscle groups at the same time which makes it extremely effective at strengthening your core, whilst also working the shoulders, arms and glutes. 

Planks are also an effective safeguard against back pain - which the NHS reports as the largest single cause of disability in the UK - as they strengthen your core which in turn, can help to alleviate pressure on your back.

They're a great addition to any exercise routine as they're equipment-free and quick to perform.

Getting into plank position is relatively simple but the tricky part is maintaining that position for a period of time.

Regularly adding planks to your fitness regime will go some way to conditioning your core, improving your posture and stability. To get you started and fire up those abs, try out the exercises below.

MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PLANKS

What does a planking do?

The plank is an exercise which helps to improve core strength.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT PLANK

  • To ensure you're getting the maximum benefit from the core muscles make sure you're not sticking your bum in the air and your back is flat.
  • Don't let your head drop as you perform a plank - ensure your head and neck are in line with your back so you're looking at the floor.
  • Although it's important to concentrate on perfect form, don't forget to breathe as lack of oxygen can cause dizziness or nausea.

PLANK VARIATIONS

HOW TO PLANK FROM KNEE

Level: Beginners

Equipment: No equipment required

  1. Lay on the floor with your elbows under your shoulders, hands flat on the floor and core engaged.
  2. Keeping your forearms and knees on the floor slowly raise yourself upwards until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your head.
  3. Hold the position for as long as you can. Don’t worry if you abs muscles start shaking. This is a sign that you are working your abs.

 

HOW TO DO A SIDE PLANK

Level: Intermediate to Advanced.

No equipment required.

  1. Lay on your right side with feet together and forearm beneath your shoulder.
  2. Engage your core and raise your hips so your body is in a straight line from your feet to your head.
  3. Hold this position for as long as you can. If you can, aim for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat on your left side.

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