How to Do a Perfect Plank

Basic Plank

Plank is a great exercise to work your arms and a great workout for your abs, and it can be done even at the comfort of your own home. As long as you know how to do a perfect plank, you will be able to reap all the amazing benefits of this exercise. Since there are several variations of the plank, it may help to know how each is done correctly, so you can minimize injury or discomfort and obtain great rewards from it. With all these things in mind, check out the following tips and techniques on doing this exercise as presented below.

Basic Plank

When you think of “plank”, this is perhaps the kind of movement that comes into your mind. Primarily, the traditional plank requires you to hold a position that makes you resemble a plank (as the term implies). To do this, simply go into an all-fours position with your hands, knees and toes touching the floor. However, you have to maintain the right distance with your forearms, which should be parallel to your body at shoulder-width apart. Then, straighten your legs until you reach a position that makes you look as though you are doing a push-up. Hold the pose and be sure your body is as straight and solid as a plank by preventing your buttocks from sticking upward.

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Side Plank

A bit more challenging than the standard plank pose, you will have to support your body by using one hand and the sides of your foot planted on the ground. You can do this by keeping your body in a diagonal line, and be sure to make your forearm strong enough to push your body up. It will help to look up as you go into this pose since this allows you to focus on a non-moving object and prevent yourself from going wobbly.

These are two common plank poses, and you can achieve your goal for this exercise by maintaining the proper means of performing these exercises. For instance, to prevent your lower back from collapsing, which is a common mistake in this exercise, you can simply engage your core. Visualize the navel being pulled in toward your spine, and this helps flatten the body instead of letting your lower back drop. You may even try asking a friend place a yardstick on your back, so you can have an accurate means of knowing whether you are keeping your back straight or bent.

If you notice your head keeps on moving downward, this prevents you from maintaining the right position for your plank. So, instead of looking down, focus your gaze straight in front of you and imagine your neck is getting longer. As you lengthen your neck, this also causes your spine to straighten, which is just how it should be.

Most importantly, breathe all throughout this exercise. Even if you hold your position for a few seconds, you should never hold your breath since it causes you to strain along the way. The goal is to maintain a sense of relaxation and focus, which you can achieve by breathing continuously and properly in this workout.

 

Image Credit:  istockphoto.com

 

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