Planks for Beginners
When it comes to exercises that will build core strength and endurance, it's hard to find one much better than a plank. Planks are a core exercise that will work more than just your abs. They will also help you build strength in your back, shoulders, glutes, and hips – muscles you use frequently in your everyday activities. And amazingly all of this strengthening is done without moving a muscle!
To get the most out of a plank though, you need to be doing them with correct form. Not holding your plank correctly can cause them to be completely ineffective at building core strength and can even lead to injury. Here is the best way to get started with your planks:
As shown in the video, you want to focus on creating length in your spine and keeping your abs engaged. This is going to keep your focus on the muscle areas that you want your plank to strengthen.
If this is the first time you've ever attempted a plank, try holding it for just 20 seconds. You can even start with your knees on the floor if you need to, just make sure you feel like your core is being worked. Once you're able to hold your plank for 20 seconds, add 10 more seconds the next time you do your plank. Keep adding 10 seconds as you progress until you've worked your way up to being able to hold your plank for 60 seconds. If you made your way up to 60 seconds with your knees down, try starting at 20 seconds again while keeping your knees up.
It may take a little while, but you will work your way up to a full 60 second plank. Keep trying to push yourself a little bit further each time, even if it's only a second or two more. Planks are deceptively challenging, but if you keep working at them you'll soon be holding your planks like a pro!