Do a plank (at any point today) and let us know with how long you held it for! Challenge a friend to do it!
We aren’t talking about the planking photo-sensation that swept the nation a few years ago. We’re talking planks as a form of exercise. Ever wondered why fitness instructors urge you to engage in this simple, albeit potentially painful, movement?
Planks are static, isometric exercises that build strength. Specifically, standard and side planks will work your upper and lower abs, your obliques, and your lower back. They’ll also help to improve your posture by working your core muscles that stabilize your spine and hips. Finally, planks are said to relieve stress by stretching muscles that tend to stiffen throughout the day.
Start on your knees if you’re a beginner and build up to lifting your knees off of the ground. As you practice plank every day, you’ll be able to increase the amount of time you hold the plank per rep.
If you are doing a standard elbow plank, make sure your shoulders don’t reach past your elbows. Your arms should rest at a 90-degree angle.
Refrain from sticking out your lower body (read: your butt) above your upper body. This will help to keep your plank straight.
Keep your neck in a straight line with your body. Don’t crane your head up. Look down at your fists to help maintain a neutral neck position, never up.
When you feel like you’re body is too sore to maintain proper form, remove yourself from plank position.
How long can you hold your plank for?