Mastering the Plank - In Just 2 Minutes
How To Do The Perfect Plank
Planking, (no, not that bizarre Internet craze) is a simple but effective total-body exercise. Holding the body (light as a feather) stiff as a board develops strength primarily in the core—the muscles that connect the upper and lower body—as well as the shoulders, arms, and glutes.
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This static exercise—meaning the body stays in one position for the entirety of the move—is especially awesome because it requires no equipment and can be performed just about anywhere (well, use your judgment). Find out how to perfect your plank with this guide. We also included fixes to some of the most common plank mistakes.
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1. Plant the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up.
2. Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the bottom half of the body. The legs should be working in the move too, careful not to lock the knees to hyperextension.
3. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at the floor about a foot in front of the hands. The head should be in line with the back.
4. Hold the position for 20 seconds to start out. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.
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This variation, also one of the most common ways to plank, is slightly easier than holding the body up with just the hands. Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. If flat palms bother the wrists, close the hands into fists or hold them in a prayer position.
Video: How to do a Perfect Plank
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