Everything you need to know about planks

Before you start thinking about breaking any records, a simple 30 second to 1 minute plank has tons of benefits too. Plank is one of the most efficient core exercises you can do as it enables you to transfer power between the upper and lower body, strengthening your abdominals, back, and shoulders.

The Basic Plank Technique

For an original Plank position, start in a push-up-like position with your body weight on your forearms, elbows and toes. Maintain a straight line from your heels through to the top of your head, looking down at the floor with your gaze slightly in front of your face. Be sure to brace your abs and keep a straight and elongated spine.

Pro tip: Beware the common mistake of looking up which can put too much strain on the neck. Also, avoid arching your back in this position by keeping your abs engaged. If you start to arch your back or feel too much strain, squeeze your glutes and think about moving your hips back in line.

Moving your feet further apart can also give you a more stable foundation. As you get stronger, you can start to close the gap. Make sure your elbows are below and in line with your shoulders.

Options and variations

Plank is an intense exercise that engages much of the body and can be pretty strenuous for beginners. A good way to start without getting discouraged is to start at your knees or move to your knees if you become too fatigued.

Pro tip: It’s not always easy to have full awareness of your body. Therefore, when you’re first starting out, it can be helpful to use a mirror to check your form.

Challenge Yourself

For a more dynamic and functional workout, we recommend doing Commando Plank which will engage your arms as well. Other great dynamic plank positions are Buzz Saw PlankPlank Walkouts and Plank with Arms and Leg Raises.

If you want to include more cardio, you can do Plank JacksPlank Frog Jumps or Plank with Side Jumps.

Get a well rounded workout

To work all sides of your abdominals, try side plank variations that require more balance and work additional muscle groups in the core. Side Plank and Side Plank Crunches are great ones to start with!

Want to know more? Explore our 17 different plank exercises to get all the benefits of a stronger body, adding stability and power to all your daily activities.

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