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The Key to Proper Planking

Credit: Unsplash
The workout, not the obsolete joke.

In spite of being a relatively uncomplicated and direct stance, the plank is one of the most misleadingly challenging exercises available. You wouldn’t assume it would be so difficult to correctly prop yourself up on your feet and elbows, but when executed correctly, a plank is a comprehensive workout, and believe me, you’ll feel it. Naturally, since the plank appears so uncomplicated, it’s remarkably easy to mess up your posture, and incorrect posture leads to all of the discomfort without any of the benefits.

The primary guideline for proper planking is to be cautious of your elbows. Your elbows are the foundation of a good plank, but if you’re exerting too much force on them, you’re going to lose your balance twice as swiftly. The resolution here is to ensure you’re performing planks on a soft, yielding surface like a yoga mat; something that will uphold your elbows gently without pressing them into the hard floor.

Secondly, concentrate on your respiration. This is a good principle for virtually any workout, of course, but it’s particularly crucial with planking. Make certain to breathe deeply through your nostrils, retain it for approximately four seconds, then gradually exhale through your mouth. Correct breathing will distribute the tension across your muscles, so no one area of your body is tolerating more strain than necessary.

Credit: Unsplash

Ultimately, maintain your hips snugly. A component of what renders the plank so strenuous is the necessity of keeping your body as horizontally level as you can manage. Evidently, your body isn’t constructed to achieve that, so if you’re inattentive, your hips can sag. Sagging hips will exert additional unnecessary force on your lower back, as well as decrease your center of gravity, making it more challenging for your extremities to uphold you. Secure your feet, contract those glutes, and ensure those hips remain raised.

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