How to do a Plank

What is a Plank?

A Plank is a stability and balance exercises that engages your entire core. It is very effective in building core strength, as it works the muscles in your lower back, glutes, abdominals and obliques. It is a great exercise for beginners since there is limited spinal motion, and it can also provide a reliable burn for those who are more advanced. This is also a really fun exercise for you to do with your kids, as they will love sitting on your back and listening to you grunt as you try to do this movement with the additional squirmy weight. 

The following muscle group is engaged by the Plank:

  • Core

How to Do a Plank (Instructions):

Start on the ground on your forearms and knees, with your elbows beneath your shoulders. Move your feet back and stabilize yourself on your feet and forearms, with your core tight and back straight. Hold your body in that position, then return to starting position.

Trainer Tips for the Plank:  

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Hold the movement for more time (45-60 seconds). 
    • Perform Side Planks.
      • Hold the regular plank movement for 20-30 seconds, then rotate your body and support yourself on your right arm for a side plank for 20-30 seconds, then rotate your body and support yourself on your left arm for a side plank for 20-30 seconds. 
    • Have one of your kids sit on your back while you perform the movement.
    • Perform Plank-Ups, which is an advanced movement that will exercise your chest, shoulders and triceps.
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Hold the movement for less time (15 seconds). 
  • Application:
    • Do 3 sets of 30 second holds as a part of your core workout. 
    • Add this movement to the end of your core workout.
Planks are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can review here