How to do a plank

If you're looking for a beginner friendly exercise for your abs and core, the plank is the one. 

The exercise is simple to do, yet it engages all of the core muscles including your abs, lower back, hips, shoulders, and arms.

You perform the plank by holding your body as hard as cardboard and as straight as a ruler. There is no other motion involved in planking—just holding the muscles in contraction with no motion in your joints.

Doing so build both strength and endurance in your muscles.

This is also known as isometric strength.

The plank not only tones the abs but also and helps improves your posture.

The exercise requires no equipment or gym, so it can be easily incorporated into your workout regimen at home or anywhere.

Here’s how to do a plank properly in 3 simple steps.

How to Do a Plank for Beginners:

Forearm Plank

How to do a plank properly

Steps 1: Get down on all fours with your palms flat, and hands directly under your shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) just like doing a push-up.

Step 2: Contract your abs, squeeze your glutes to keep your body up and prevent your lower body from dipping and sticking up. Keep your belly button pulled in.

Step 3: Now from this position, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms. Your body should form a straight line. Brace your core, squeeze those glutes. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Rest and repeat the prescribed number of sets.

Standard Plank

How to do a basic plank exercise

Step 1: Get down on all fours as you would do a pushup. Keep your palms flat and hands directly under your shoulders slightly wider the shoulder-width apart. 

Step 2: Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankle. Contract your abs to prevent your butt from sticking or dipping. With your abs pulling in toward your spine, hold for 30-60 seconds.

Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise

Since the plank is a not motion exercise, it allows you to strength while also ensuring that you are not putting excessive pressure on your spine and lower back. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces your risk of back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back (1).

Plank Workout Ideas

Here are some easy workouts below that include the plank you can do at home.

Exercise Table

Reps Sets Level Location
Hold for 30 seconds 2-3 Easy Gym or Home

The Takeaway

The proper way to do a plank exercise.

The plank is a fantastic exercise you can do to strengthen your core muscles while also sculpting your abs.

Furthermore, doing planks regularly will greatly benefit your body. Your posture will improve over time.

Other plank variations include side plank, dynamic plank, and rotating plank.

Also if you are up for a challenge, give our 30-day ab challenge a try. The challenge includes the plank.


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