Planks are among the best exercises for core strength and abdominal muscles. They are isometric compound workouts that work out much more than just the rectus abdominis. They integrate movement from all muscle groups that run from the pelvis along the spine, up to the shoulder girdle.
Adding planks to your workout regimen will keep your core strong and stable.
So let’s go over some tips and common mistakes to avoid while doing planks.
Doing the perfect Plank:
1- Find a place with appropriate space to perform planks. Use an exercise mat if you can, it’ll provide you enough padding. Be comfortable.
2- Begin in the basic plank position, with your forearms face down and your toes touching the floor.
3- Keep your elbows in a straight line under your shoulders. Keep your body relaxed.
4- Keep engaging your abdominal muscles. Make sure your upper body is straight. Do not bend or sag your spine.
5- Keep your shoulders down, and don’t have them touching your ears.
6- Hold this position for about 10 seconds. Then release.
7- Increase the time bit by bit.
Now, let’s go over some of the most common mistakes people make while doing a plank. If you avoid these errors, you can get by without any injuries.
1- Arched Back
An arched back indicates that your abdominal muscles are not successfully engaged, and your arms are supporting most of your weight.
2- Sagged posterior
You will notice once you tire yourself out doing planks, that towards the end your hips will start sagging. End your plank then.
3- Looking forward
There should be a clear straight line from your head to your toes. Look below at the floor. Looking forward will strain your neck.
4- Wide feet
Do not keep your feet too far apart.
5- Bent knees
Do not bend your knees. Keep them locked in place.
You can modify the basic plank to better work your core muscles.
If it is difficult for you to perform your first plank, try doing it with bent knees. That will take the pressure off your feet.
One could always go for an incline plank with your forearms resting on a bench.
Next is Plank while lifting your legs.
1- To perform this, start in the basic Plank position.
2- Now, slowly lift either leg off the floor. Somewhere around 6 inches.
3- Hold that position for ten seconds, then bring your foot to the floor.
4- Now do the same thing with the other leg.
You can go for Planks while lifting an arm next.
1- Start in the basic plank position.
2- Shift your weight to your left forearm.
3- Next, extend your right arm out in front of you.
4- Hold that position and keep your core engaged.
5- Slowly put your arm back to its initial position.
6- Switch arms and repeat.
Let us talk about Safety and Precautions while doing the Plank.
Avoid planks if you have a shoulder injury. Stop the exercise if you feel a sharp pain anywhere. Make sure your shoulders are not protracted.
Having a strong core is quite an important part of your Ironmen training. It helps in stabilization and improves your body posture. It also reduces stress on your various joints. It’s also a great calorie burner.
Hence, do not shirk this exercise off. Make it a part of your workout plan.
Watch our video on Perfect Plank :