The Skinny on Planks

I love planks! It wasn’t always the case, but I have come to love planks for all the benefits they bring my core and body.

Here are a few benefits of planking:

  • Builds a strong core to help prevent injuries
  • Is a simple move that results in the greatest fitness gains
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Overall improvement of posture, balance and mobility
  • A great-looking toned belly


A quick Google search will show you that planks are heavy boards used in construction, and this actually makes sense because your core IS your powerhouse: the center of your body which, when strengthened, builds the foundation for all movement.

Most people immediately associate their core with six-pack abdominal muscles, but your core is in fact made up of much more. It starts at the bottom of your ribs down to the top of the hip and continues all the way to the bottom of your pelvis. When you begin to plank and build a strong core, it means that you are building both core stability (the deep internal muscles closer to the spine) and building core strength (as abdominal crunches would). Got it?




Warning! Planks are deceptive. They may look easy but when performed with proper form over a few minutes, holding a plank will solicit strength and endurance from multiple muscle groups at the same time and most of all, “ahem,” your deep and your superficial core.

If this wasn’t enough to get you down on the ground and start planking, did you know that almost every exercise has the potential to give you a mood boost? Yup, the link between exercise and mood is pretty strong and usually within five minutes of moderate exercise you can begin to feel the mood-enhancement effect. Planks are no exception. So, let’s do this!

How to Perform a Basic Plank Exercise

Begin by placing your forearms, knees and toes or tops of your shoes on the ground. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders, like a sphinx, palms face down.

Brace your abdominals by gathering your lower ribs and contracting your mid and lower abs. Broaden your shoulder blades apart and pull them toward your pelvis as you exhale.

Push down firmly into your forearms and toes and lift your knees off the ground.

Make sure to hold your body in a straight line, keeping your pelvis and glutes aligned with your shoulders. Not higher or lower. Feel the tension throughout and keep the core engaged.

Maintaining your plank, contract your quads for a toned quality to the whole body. Pull your chin toward your chest to keep a neutral neck so there is no strain.

Make sure to breathe smoothly and avoid overly tensing any area especially in the shoulders or glutes. Keep scanning the body and remember to pull in your navel toward your spine so the core stays engaged. This effect is like that of a tight corset to keep the whole body connected and maintain a sturdier and safer plank.

Although a record eight hours, one minute accounts for the longest-held plank, you can start by holding a plank about 20 to 30 seconds. Rest for about 20 to 30 seconds between each rep and repeat three to five more times. Trying to hold the position too long may not be the best strategy at first. It is better to maintain proper form for a shorter period of time than to hold improper form for long.

Start doing the plank using your elbows and toes and progress up to a high plank, using your hands and toes when you feel you have built up your strength. Planking is considered one of the best exercises for core conditioning. As you become stronger, there are many variations you can try out to add intensity and to work different areas of your body.

Try these:

  • Increase your hold time
  • Plank performed on a stability ball
  • Try a side plank or a side plank with a leg raise
  • Alternate forearms to palms
  • Lift one foot of the floor


As you can see, sky is the limit. So invest on the best house ever (and comfortable clothing!) and building the powerhouse of your dreams.  Start planking!

  • golden goose
    Posted at 10:58h, 05 November

    Thank you for all of your hard work on this website. My daughter really loves participating in investigations and it is easy to see why. I hear all concerning the lively means you convey important secrets through the website and as well as encourage contribution from others about this area plus our own daughter is without question starting to learn a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You’re carrying out a useful job.

  • nike epic react
    Posted at 01:25h, 06 November

    My spouse and i ended up being so thrilled that Albert managed to finish up his studies through the entire precious recommendations he grabbed from your blog. It’s not at all simplistic to just possibly be releasing methods which usually some people might have been making money from. And we all know we have you to appreciate for this. These explanations you’ve made, the straightforward blog menu, the relationships you help to engender – it’s mostly fantastic, and it’s really aiding our son in addition to us reason why the situation is cool, which is highly serious. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  • crazy explosive
    Posted at 00:46h, 07 November

    I as well as my guys have been following the excellent secrets located on your website and instantly got a terrible feeling I had not thanked the web blog owner for them. All of the people ended up absolutely stimulated to see them and have in effect definitely been using those things. Thanks for really being considerably considerate and then for considering certain amazing subject matter millions of individuals are really eager to discover. Our honest regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

  • yeezy boost 500
    Posted at 04:24h, 08 November

    I in addition to my buddies have already been going through the best tactics found on your website and then I got an awful suspicion I never expressed respect to the web site owner for those secrets. These people are already certainly excited to read all of them and have in effect truly been using those things. Appreciation for genuinely very helpful and also for deciding on some superior resources millions of individuals are really desirous to discover. My very own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.

  • pg 1
    Posted at 00:30h, 09 November

    I simply needed to thank you so much once more. I do not know the things I could possibly have created without the actual solutions documented by you relating to that area of interest. It previously was a depressing concern in my circumstances, but seeing the very well-written way you managed that took me to leap over fulfillment. I’m grateful for this information and as well , sincerely hope you know what a great job that you’re undertaking training the rest thru a web site. Probably you have never got to know any of us.

  • adidas zx flux
    Posted at 21:10h, 09 November

    I as well as my pals have been checking the good tactics located on the blog and so suddenly developed a terrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the blog owner for those tips. All of the ladies had been totally passionate to see them and now have really been making the most of these things. Many thanks for actually being considerably kind and then for considering these kinds of remarkable subjects most people are really wanting to discover. Our honest apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  • longchamp
    Posted at 16:28h, 10 November

    I together with my friends came digesting the excellent pointers from your web blog and then unexpectedly developed a terrible feeling I had not expressed respect to the web blog owner for them. The ladies are already certainly glad to learn them and already have in reality been having fun with them. I appreciate you for indeed being very considerate and also for having certain brilliant issues millions of individuals are really eager to be aware of. My very own honest apologies for not saying thanks to sooner.

  • jordan retro
    Posted at 11:43h, 11 November

    Thanks for your whole work on this website. My mum take interest in engaging in investigation and it is easy to understand why. Most people know all concerning the powerful form you give worthwhile tactics by means of the web site and improve contribution from some other people on this issue so our favorite princess is certainly learning a whole lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year. Your conducting a pretty cool job.

  • yeezy boost 350
    Posted at 17:07h, 11 November

    I and also my buddies appeared to be digesting the nice information from your website while quickly came up with a terrible feeling I never expressed respect to you for those secrets. All the guys were definitely totally joyful to read them and have in effect surely been having fun with them. I appreciate you for being so helpful and for having varieties of very good topics millions of individuals are really wanting to understand about. My honest apologies for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  • adidas stan smith
    Posted at 05:16h, 12 November

    I intended to put you a little bit of note so as to give many thanks the moment again for your awesome advice you have shown on this page. It was remarkably open-handed of you giving easily what many people would have made available as an electronic book to help make some cash for themselves, particularly since you might have tried it if you considered necessary. These inspiring ideas additionally served to be a great way to recognize that some people have a similar desire much like my personal own to find out a lot more regarding this problem. Certainly there are many more pleasurable opportunities ahead for individuals who check out your site.

  • air jodan 6
    Posted at 23:41h, 12 November

    My spouse and i were quite glad when Peter managed to round up his researching with the precious recommendations he grabbed from your web page. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be releasing ideas which often the others could have been selling. So we figure out we have got the writer to thank for that. The specific explanations you have made, the straightforward site menu, the relationships your site help to create – it’s got everything great, and it’s really assisting our son and us believe that the issue is pleasurable, which is certainly tremendously mandatory. Many thanks for all the pieces!

  • louboutin shoes
    Posted at 18:45h, 13 November

    I am just commenting to let you understand what a excellent encounter my friend’s child undergone using your web page. She figured out plenty of things, with the inclusion of what it is like to possess an ideal giving style to make the rest just know chosen impossible topics. You undoubtedly exceeded our own desires. Many thanks for displaying these informative, dependable, informative and as well as easy tips about the topic to Julie.

Post A Comment