Plank exercises provide excellent health and fitness benefits. Ideally, planks target your abdominals, glutes, arms, shoulders, and leg muscles. Moreover, planks are good for your back and, with the right form, you can feel assured of not injuring yourself.
To start doing plank workouts, you first need to learn the correct body form. If you are a newbie to plank activities, begin with the beginner moves which will help you get to grips with the correct form. Once you are comfortable, you can then progress to the more difficult plank variations.
The Proper Posture for a Plank
As discussed beforehand, planks are injury and risk-free exercises. However, if done using the wrong posture you can easily injure your back. When you are doing the plank, ensure you maintain a straight backline.
Additionally, avoid facing downwards and look straight ahead. Facing downwards will put unnecessary pressure on your neck muscles.
Here are the top plank variations you can try for a stronger core.
High Plank aka Standard Plank
This type of plank is easy to do and can be used to learn the correct body posture.
How It’s Done
Get down on the floor. Lift yourself up and use your arms and toes to prop up your torso. You can spread your feet wider for better stability. Now, hold onto that position for as long as you can. Besides that, engage your abdominal muscles, and while at it remember to control your breathing.
Try and hold for at least 30 seconds before breaking out.
The Knee Plank
If you find the standard plank quite challenging, then don’t worry you can do the knee plank, which is much simpler.
For the knee plank, drop your knees to the floor for additional support. Remember to engage your abdominal muscles. Additionally, keep your back straight.
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The Forearm Plank
When doing the forearm plank, it is advisable you use a training mat to avoid hurting your forearms.
How It’s Done
Get into the standard plank position. However, this time prop yourself on your forearms instead of your palms. You can place your forearms parallel to each other or clasp your hands together.
The Reverse Plank
This is a more advanced type of plank that will work your hips, shoulders, arms, and leg muscles.
How It’s Done
Before getting into the reverse plank, do a few shoulder curls and try squeezing your shoulder blades. Once you’re ready, sit on the floor with your arms behind you and palms facing outward. With your feet flat on the floor, lift your torso from the ground.
Ensure you form a straight line from your knees right to your chin. Hold the position for as long as you can.
This plank is similar to the standard plank. However, in its case, you’ll lift one leg. Make sure you keep a straight back and engage your abdominals. Also, remember to keep both the supporting and extended legs straight.