By Jordan Meyer, Certified Personal Trainer & Group Exercise Instructor at Elite Sports Club-North Shore
Planks are a great all-around exercise for the core. Even though the abdominal muscles are the main focus in a traditional front plank, you’re also using a ton of other muscles to keep proper form (quads, lats, triceps, etc). One of the best parts about planks are their minimal time requirement.
If you have two minutes, you can get in a good core workout. Even if holding a two-minute plank isn’t a big challenge for you, there are modifications to make that two-minute plank much more of a workout. If your core is a little weaker, planks are a great way to start building all around strength. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere. As long as you’re seeing improvements, you’re on the right path.
Things to remember:
- Keep your chin tucked to ensure proper spinal alignment.
- Pull your shoulder blades down to help keep your back from arching.
- Pull your belly button in to engage your core and keep your lower back safe.
- Shoulders over hands, heels over toes.
- Keep your shoulders and hips parallel to the ground.
- Keep as normal of a breathing cadence as you can.
There are certain things we are told to do every day: brush your teeth, eat your fruits and veggies, find a way to exercise in some capacity. The last one seems to be the hardest to find the time and motivation for on a consistent basis. By incorporating variations of some classic exercises (i.e. the plank) into your routine, you can check that last task off your list and feel good about doing something positive for yourself.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.