How to Correctly Perform a Plank

A truly effective and popular physical exercise in fitness is the plank. It activates almost all muscle groups of the human body. The results will depend directly on compliance with the correct technique.

Observe the Following Rules:

  1. The feet should be together. This position of the feet maintains balance, and, consequently, the load on your back will be appropriate.
  2. The legs should be kept in a straight position, in a tight state. Otherwise, the wrong position of the legs will lead to a weakening of the load on the rectus muscle, which will negatively affect the deflection of the lumbar region.
  3. During the exercise, the buttocks should be tight. In this position, the muscles of the cortex will receive an effective load.
  4. Watch for the position of the waist: do not bend or round. The position of the abdomen required.
  5. The abdomen is in itself and pulled up to the ribs. However, the tightened abdomen should not in any way affect the quality of breathing during exercise.
  6. Elbows do not create unnecessary strain on the shoulders, and are therefore placed in the same vertical position as the shoulder joints.

Implementation Options

By changing the position of the legs and hands, you can successfully train your back, shoulders, abdomen, gluteal muscles, etc.

 

plank

 

Classic

Mostly the muscles of the hands and muscles-stabilizers are involved.

Technique:

  • Lay straight, flat on the floor, then place your arms across the width of your shoulders, and keep your legs together. At this time, the heels should be raised from the floor surface. Elbows should form a right angle with wrists.
  • On exhalation, tighten and straighten the body. Relax your shoulders, and turn your face to the floor.
  • Hold this position for one minute. After a minute, rest, but no more than two minutes, then proceed to the second position.

Tip : When you perform a classic plank, your back is always flat.

Technique:

  • Lay down on the left side, press your left hand on the floor (the hand should be in the same vertical with the shoulder).
  • Raise your legs and hips, while putting your feet together (your toes point forward).
  • Straighten your left arm. As you exhale, raise your right arm at the same time. Strain the gluteal muscles in order not to lean back (keep the balance).
  • Hold the body in this position for 15 seconds or for the maximum possible time.
  • Relax for 1-2 minutes, then repeat the exercise.

Forearm Support Position

The muscles of the arms, shoulders, and abdomen are involved.

Technique:

  1. Lay flat on the floor, leaning on the forearm.
  2. The elbows are the same width as your shoulders, the hands should be locked, and the heels do not touch the floor.
  3. Forearms in relation to the shoulders are at right angles.
  4. The body is straightened, parallel to the floor surface. Be careful not to lower your lower back, and don’t strain your shoulders.
  5. Hold this position for one minute or longer.
  6. Rest a little, then repeat the exercise.

 

plank exercise

 

Plank on four points

The muscles of the back, the abdomen, and also the shoulders are involved.

Technique:

  • Pose as you did in the forearm support position, but with knees on the floor. 
  • Cross your legs
  • Straighten your body.
  • Relax the shoulder and neck muscles.
  • Stay in position for one minute or longer.
  • Rest for a minute or two and repeat.

Tip: This option helps in cases where there are pains in the lower back and wrists. The back should be strictly level, and the lumbar region should not bend.

Reverse Plank

The Technique of Execution is as Follows:

  • Sit and straighten your legs. The palms are located behind the trunk. For better support, spread your fingers.
  • Your body should be at a 45-degree angle. Hands are located in the same plane with the shoulders.
  • Slowly raise the buttocks, leaning on the palm of your hand, fingers, and heels. 
  • Form a straight line, fully stretched.
  • The stomach is drawn and tense.
  • Hold for 15 to 60 seconds.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

The maximum benefit from the reverse plank depends not on the duration, but on the correct position. The duration of training increases with increasing endurance. Repetitions of 3 to 5 times a week provide optimal results.

Twisting Plank

To train the slanting muscles of the plank, a version with twisting is suitable. Its implementation:

  • 1. Lean on the floor with both hands, and turn the pelvis to the left or to the right.
  • 2. With one leg left straight, and the other bent at the knee, pull to the stomach.
  • 3. Hold the pose for 15-60 seconds, then repeat in the other direction.

Standing Plank

  • 1. Lie on the floor, and lean against the back of your hands. The limbs should be placed in line with the shoulders and form a right angle with the trunk.
  • 2. Bend your legs at the knees, and align hips with the trunk in one plane.
  • 3. Stand for about a minute.
  • 4. Take the starting position.

This option strengthens the cervical musculature, legs, arms, and abdomen. The main thing is to maintain the direct position.

 

exercise plank performing

 

Dolphin

  • 1. Lean on your elbows and heels.
  • 2. Move into downward dog position: the buttocks are pulled up, and the lower and upper parts of the trunk are straight. The body rests on the elbows, the head is lowered, the neck is relaxed. The legs rest on the heels.
  • 3. Hold 15-60 seconds.
  • 4. Return to the initial position. 
  • Repeat several times. This option works the shoulders and back.

With Jumps

  • 1. Assume the planned position with outstretched hands.
  • 2. From this position, jump up, straight legs apart.
  • 3. Return to the original position.
  • Repeat several times. It is important that the straight line is preserved during the change of position: the pelvis does not hang, the knees do not bend.

Benefits for the Body

To increase the effect of exercise with time, you can start raising your legs higher. The increased load will work the gluteus maximus muscle, as well as the posterior gastrocnemius muscles. This exercise allows you to get rid of cellulite in the buttocks.

Muscles of the Back

Muscles of the back, shoulders, as well as the cervical section, are also well worked out during the execution of the plank. It serves as a preventive measure in the fight against osteochondrosis of the lumbar and cervical divisions. If there is pain between the shoulder blades and in the shoulders, then the exercise in question is exactly what is needed.

Muscles of the legs

The greatest load during the execution of the plank is on the muscles of the legs. All the muscles of the legs are occupied – from the hips to the calves. Do not be afraid of burning sensation in the legs during the exercise, since this “symptom” is the most understandable consequence of the effective work of the leg muscles.

Girls and women are pleased to realize that with regular training with the use of the straps, the hips will be allowed to wear the most tight skirt in your wardrobe.

Abdominal muscles

It’s easy to guess that the abdominal muscles will be perfectly worked out if the whole body works. It is interesting to know that this exercise produces a positive effect both for the lateral muscles of the abdomen, and for the lower muscles.

In order to better strengthen the abdomen, you can apply one small trick: without holding your breath, pull the stomach into itself and do the exercise.

Hand Muscles

Together with the feet, the muscles of the hands receive a qualitative physical load, since they hold half the mass of the body. Thus, they are well strengthened if you use the right technique. After a few weeks of regular plank training, you get strong, strong hands.

plank standing

Contraindications

Training is universal, suitable for men and women equally effectively, eliminates many problems of the musculoskeletal system. But avoid doing planks if you have any of the following conditions:

 

  • The syndrome of the cubital canal is compression of the ulnar nerve. Since the load falls on the elbow joint, its condition may worsen.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – pinched nerve in the wrist.
  • Neuropathy of the radial nerve – the inability to unbend fingers and brush.
  • Chronic diseases.
  • Injuries to the joints and stretching of the muscles.
  • Hernia.
  • Injuries of the spine.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Complications of pregnancy: detachment of the placenta, decreased tone of the uterus, the possibility of premature birth.

 

Conclusion

  1. Plank is famous for its efficiency and versatility: it employs almost the entire musculature.

  2. For a successful result, several rules should be followed, especially the location of the limbs and joints.

  3. The bar is multivariate: alternating several exercises, you can work out all the muscles as efficiently as possible.

  4. Training not only prevents the development of diseases of the musculoskeletal system, but aids breathing.

  5. Exercises can not be started if there are contraindications.

  6. Systematic plank training harmoniously develops all the muscles.

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