Planks Proper Form
- Also Known As: Hover exercise, front plank
- Targets: Abdominals and core muscles
- Level: Beginner
The plank is an excellent abdominal and core exercise. It works not only the rectus abdominis, but also the other ab muscles and the core muscles that run from the pelvis along the spine and up to the shoulder girdle. To ensure you keep your core strong and stable.
Strengthening the core is an important aspect of any workout program. Not only does a strong and solid core look good, but more importantly, it helps to stabilize, balance, and power the body during just about every other activity. Core strength is the basis for all coordinated and powerful athletic movements. A strong core can reduce stress on the joints and allow you to achieve better posture. The plank exercise can be used as the basis for a core muscle strength and stability test. The plank is more of a strength-building exercise than a cardio exercise, but by engaging a range of muscles it does boost your calorie burn a bit. How many calories burned depends on your weight and how long you hold the plank. Typically, a 150-pound individual will burn about 3 calories a minute holding a plank.
Select a place where you can extend your whole body length. Using an exercise mat will give you enough padding to be comfortable on all fours.
- Begin in the plank position, face down with your forearms and toes on the floor. Your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your forearms are facing forward. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
- Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending. This is the neutral spine position. Ensure your shoulders are down, not creeping up toward your ears. Your heels should be over the balls of your feet.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds. Release to floor.
- Over time work up to 30, 45, or 60 seconds.