Primary Muscle Group: Abdominals, Legs, Glutes, Lower Back
Secondary Muscle Group: Legs, Glutes, Lower Back
Equipment Needed: None
The Benefits of Plank
The Plank Exercise works many muscle groups, making them a great exercise for home workouts, ab workouts and full body workouts. They target your abdominal muscles, glutes, lower back and shoulders which make it suitable for both men and women who are trying to improve their core stability. The Plank is also great for improving your core stability because it forces you to hold your bodyweight in a fixed position for a period of time. It also requires absolutely no equipment and can be done just about anywhere!
If you are looking for other exercises that are similar to the plank then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Expert Workout Plans that comes with access to your own fitness advisor for the duration.
The Risks of doing Plank
When doing the Plank Raises it’s important to keep your back straight and avoid arching it as this will put an un-natural curvature on the back which could have a negative impact on your Postureposture if not corrected.
How To Do Plank
1. Start by lying with your forearms on the floor and the elbows aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width. If having your hands flat is uncomfortable, try clasping your hands together.
2. Dig your toes into the floor and squeeze glutes to stabilize your body. Your legs should be working, too — be careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
3. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Your head should be in line with your back.
4. Hold the position while remembering to engage your core. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising your form.
For Perfect Technique
Instead of compromising your lower back by dipping your glutes, engage your abdominal muscles by imagining your belly button pulling intowards your spine. This will help keep your torso flat and, in turn, reducing the risk of injury to your back.
Once you have mastered the plank you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Lying Leg Cross Over
1. Start by lying on back with your legs straight and flat against the floor.
2. Tighten your abs and lift your legs off the floor.
3. Lower your right foot back down and lift your left leg up towards the sky, as you did with your right foot.
4. Bring one ankle over the other, in a criss cross motion down. (see illustration and video demonstration)
How To Do Plank Raises
1. Start in a plank position with your arms bent and your weight in your forearms.
2. Engage your core and keep your body straight all the way from your head down to your heels.
3. Now raise your right leg and hold that position for one second. As you raise, try to keep your hips down and the rest of your body in a straight line.
4. Lower your right leg and raise your left leg. Continue alternating back and forth.