Posted on 06 August 2019
PERFECT FORM: HOW TO PLANK
The plank is one of the best-known exercises that people will incorporate into their workout, but are you doing it correctly? The plank can significantly aid your core strength that can help improve other aspects of your workout. However, not doing it correctly means that you will not be getting the optimum effects.
WHY THE PLANK IS SUCH A GOOD EXERCISE
This exercise is better for you than doing other core exercises such as sit-ups or crunches because firstly, it requires all your abdominal muscles, your arms and your legs. Secondly, it doesn’t put as much pressure on your back muscles, compared to exercises such as sit-ups and crunches where your spine is pushed against the floor. It can also help your posture as it strengthens areas such as your shoulders and back.
COMMON PLANK MISTAKES & HOW TO FIX THEM
It is all well and good incorporating a plank into your everyday work out routine, but if not done correctly then you will not be getting all the benefits that it could potentially serve you.
Your body should create a straight line, with your legs, bum, back and head all in line with each other. This means your head should be looking down to the floor, not Infront of you and not down at your feet. Your back should not be arched up or down and should be in line with your bum, which should also not be down to the floor or up in the air. Finally, your arms should be equally spaced apart on the ground and parallel in line with your body.
Another common mistake is trying to place all your body weight on your arms. This is when you end up with an incorrect plank shape. This will lead to your arm muscles being overworked, while your core abdominals not being worked how they should be. Make sure you engage your quads, glutes and core muscles while planking to ensure they are all being strengthened as they should be during the exercise.
VARIATIONS OF THE TRADITIONAL PLANK
You may want to mix up your usual workout by opting to try out some different variations of the plank.
A side plank: The side plank is a superb variation for strengthening the oblique muscles. Simply do the plank, but on your side!
Leg and arm lifts: When you have perfected your regular plank, try adding in exercises such as lifting your arm straight out in front of you, while lifting your opposite leg out behind you.
Reaching side plank: Once you have gone so far as perfecting your side plank you can add a twist to it. Raise your arm that isn’t on the floor above you and then move it, so it swings under your body.