How To Do A Perfect Plank – Benefits And Form Tips, According To A Trainer

Planks are a fantastic exercise for strengthening your core muscles. Done correctly, they can also engage your arms, shoulders, and glutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing a perfect plank:

Start Position:

Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your knees.

Engage Your Core:

Brace your core muscles as if you’re about to be punched in the stomach. This will help stabilize your spine.

Extend Your Legs:

Step your feet back, one at a time, so that your body is in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your feet hip-width apart.

Check Your Alignment:

Ensure your head is in line with your spine. Avoid arching your back or lifting your hips too high.

Hold the Position:

Hold the plank for 20-30 seconds to start, gradually increasing the time as you get stronger.


Remember to breathe steadily throughout the exercise. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

Modify if Needed:

If a full plank is too challenging, you can modify by dropping to your forearms instead of your hands.

Benefits of Planking Planks offer a range of benefits beyond core strength:

Improved Core Strength:

Planks target the entire core, including the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and obliques.

Better Posture:

Strengthening the core muscles can help improve posture, reducing the risk of back pain.

Increased Flexibility:

Planks stretch and expand the muscles around your shoulders, collarbone, and shoulder blades, enhancing flexibility.

Enhanced Balance:

Planks engage multiple muscle groups, improving overall stability and balance.

Injury Prevention:

A strong core can help prevent injuries, especially in the lower back.

Form Tips for a Perfect Plank
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your planks and avoiding injury, follow these form tips:

Keep Your Body Straight:

Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels. Avoid sagging or arching your back.

Engage Your Core:

Focus on contracting your abdominal muscles throughout the exercise. This helps protect your lower back and strengthens your core.

Don’t Forget to Breathe:

It’s easy to hold your breath while planking. Remember to breathe steadily to maintain oxygen flow to your muscles.

Avoid Tilting Your Hips:

Keep your hips level with the rest of your body. Don’t allow them to droop or lift too high.

Focus on Quality, Not Quantity:

It’s better to hold a plank with proper form for a shorter time than to hold a plank with poor form for longer.

Incorporating planks into your regular workout routine can help you build a strong core, improve your posture, and enhance overall strength and stability. Start slowly and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the exercise.

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