How To Perfect Your Plank for Maximum Results

life hacks

| LAST UPDATE 11/30/2022

By Dayna Hanson
Kayla Itsines Plank Ab Workout
@kayla_itsines via Instagram

Have you ever been in a workout class and been worried when the instructor told you to get into a plank? Or do you understand the basics and want to improve your plank even more? We have everything for you so you can perfect your plank!

A plank "is a tough isometric bodyweight exercise that requires you to hold yourself in a position similar to a pushup," noted Ashley Iwanicki, a fitness instructor and founder of The Collective Studios, to Bustle. The plank is a fantastic exercise to utilize because of how many areas it targets and its benefits. According to Iwanicki, "A plank exercise primarily targets your core muscles, but recruits your shoulders, back, glutes, and leg muscles for support." So how do you make a plank? And more importantly, how do you do it correctly? The most important thing to keep in mind is your form. It doesn't matter how long you hold your plank if you aren't doing it correctly. Position yourself like you are getting ready for a pushup, then keep your forearms on the mat, remain on the balls of your feet, and elevate your hips to a neutral position. Congratulations, you are in a plank!

Kayla Itsines plank workout routine
Women's Health UK via YouTube
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To make planking easier, Iwanicki suggested "consciously activating secondary muscles, such as your shoulders, back, glutes, and leg muscles…" in addition to squeezing your abs. So, make sure to utilize your other muscles while activating your abdominals! If you are beginning your planking journey, there is no shame in starting with smaller repetitions. Iwanicki recommended beginning with a series of 3 10-second holds with a five to ten-second rest in between. If you are at a higher level, she suggested attempting to hold the plank for 60 seconds at a time. Now whether you are just beginning or are already a master, there are many different types of variations to do based on what is most comfortable. No matter what, you need to do your best to stay in alignment because this form will optimize the use of all your muscles together. Now, how often should you try to be planking a week?

"To see results, I recommend incorporating a plank into your routine 3 to 4 times a week…." Iwanicki noted. With all these tips and tricks, you will be planking like a pro in no time. The best thing to do is just to get started! And stay tuned for more core-workout hacks.

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