Planks, how to do it right

Have you ever wondered if you are doing a plank correctly?

Planks one of those moves that you can do that will strengthen your entire core from top to bottom and all the way round the middle.

Planks either be done on your forearms or your hand wounds, the forearms are slightly easier and may be better for beginners.

Unless you have someone watching you I would recommend that you do these in front of the mirror so you are in the correct position.

Here are some tips on how to forge those abs of steel.

  • Lie prone on the floor. Lock you core into neutral position and raise yourself up onto your toes and elbows/forearms.  Your head, hips and heels should form a straight line. Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders for optimal stabilization.
  • Engage your abs by imagining sucking your belly button to your spine then contracting your pelvic floor muscles, keeping your hips aligned and square, don’t let them raise to high or sag to low (this will do damaged to your lower back).
  • Look at a spot in front of you on the floor, think of your head as an extension of your spine, try to keep it in alignment with your hips and heels.
  • Push those toes in the floor by contracting the quads, then push those heels away from you, to a point behind, squeeze your glutes to stabilise your lower body and hips.
  • To maintain your hold, you need to focus on your breathing, inhale deeply for the count of one, then exhale for four slow counts, this enables the body to oxygenate the muscles while giving the mind something to focus on.
  • Start by holding your planks for 20 secs, then work up in 10 sec increments as you improve with a 10/20 rest.

Plank 1

Once you become proficient at the standard plank, challenge yourself with the variations listed below:

Forearm plank

Leg-up plank

Full plank

Shoulder tap plank

Walking plank

Twisting plank

Side plank

Medicine/stability ball plank

Walking plank

Twisting plank