Planks are a great move to add to your workout routine because they are so very effective. Done properly, a plank activates your arms, shoulders, legs and abs, so it’s a one-stop shop when it comes to toning and defining your entire body. Of course, you can’t rely on planks alone to shape your body, but adding a few each week will certainly help. Here’s how to get the most out of your planks so that you can have the body of your dreams.
The number one thing you can do when it comes to doing planks is to ensure that they are done correctly. Proper form is vital for ensuring that each and every plank you does its magic on your body. Start by getting into a pushup position, then bring your arms down so you are resting on your forearms and toes. Make sure your back is flat and your body is straight from shoulders to ankles. Engage your abs and then hold the plank.
If you’re new to planks, you don’t want to start out trying to hold the position for five minutes. It might not sound like much, but trust me that a five minute plank is not an easy thing to do. Instead, start with a 30 second plank and add time as you get stronger and the move becomes easier. Some experts say that two minutes is the maximum you need to get the most out of a plank so don’t worry about holding it longer than that if you can’t or don’t want to.
It’s easy to zone out while doing planks, but you need to stay mindful and pay attention to your core. You’ve got to make sure that you keep your abs engaged and don’t let them start to fall down. This can injure your back and won’t make your planks very effective. With practice, you won’t have to worry about this so much, but if you’re new to planks, pay close attention to your middle.
Like I said before, you want to start small, but experts suggest doing one plank each day, holding the move for longer and longer as you go, until you reach two minutes. Luckily, a plank doesn’t take very long so you should have no trouble fitting one in each day. I do mine while I watch television. In just a few weeks, you will start to notice definite differences all over your body.
Planks are super effective, but shouldn’t be the only strength training moves you do. Combine them with other moves that work the muscles throughout your body for a totally toned and chiseled look. The easiest thing to do is to add planks to your regular strength training routine and you’ll get the most out them without having to commit a ton of extra time.
It’s no secret that holding a plank can get pretty boring. That’s why you need a partner. Recruit your significant other, your kids or your best friend to do planks with you. That gives you a set amount of time to focus on your body and socialize.
Now that you’ve mastered the traditional plank, you can try some of the variations. This includes doing planks on your hands instead of forearms, lifting one or the other leg, side planks or the push up plank. Use this video to help you master each of them:
Are you ready for some planks?
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