The plank is a great way to strengthen our abs and core. By adding the plank to an ab workout, we can help keep our core strong and stable. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of the plank exercise, as well as different types of plank exercises and how to do them.

How to Do a Plank

Find a spot where you can lay down and stretch out your whole body. It’ll be more comfortable if you use an exercise mat, like the one in the video. You can do a plank either on your palms or your forearms.

  1. Begin in the plank position, face down with your forearms and toes on the floor. Your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your forearms are facing forward. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from your ears to your toes with no sagging or bending. This is the neutral spine position. Ensure your shoulders are down, not creeping up toward your ears. Your heels should be over the balls of your feet.
  3. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Release to the floor.
  4. Over time work up to 30, 45, or 60 seconds.

Benefits of The Plank

It is important to have a strong core when working out as it helps with stability, balance and power.

A strong core is necessary for all coordinated and powerful athletic movements. A strong core can reduce stress on the joints and allow you to achieve better posture.

This exercise can also help improve your stability. The plank exercise is more about building strength than doing cardio, but it also helps burn calories by working multiple muscles.

30-Day Plank Challenge For Beginners

Core exercises can help improve your posture and fix any alignment issues you may have. Here are a few simple moves to help get you started. If you’re looking to improve your posture and fix any alignment issues, doing some core exercises can help. Here are a few simple moves to get you started.

A few years ago, the plank challenge was very popular on social media, with everyone claiming how good it was. Even though the world has moved on from that trend now, the benefits of doing planks are still great. If you want to start working on getting a strong and beautiful core/abs like the ones you see on social media, then the 30-day plank challenge for beginners is the best place to start.

This workout is great for beginners because it offers a lot of benefits. We will show you how to do a basic plank, as well as some variations that will help keep the challenge fun and fresh throughout the month. This way, you won’t get bored and give up!

Abs

Even if you’re not looking to have six-pack abs, strengthening your core muscles is still a great goal to have. These exercises work all the muscles in your core, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, hips, and back muscles.

It Is A Full-Body Workout

The 30-day plank challenge for beginners exercises more than just your core. You also work the muscles in your biceps, shoulders, and arms, making them more toned and developed. If you hold the correct posture during this workout, you can also workout and build the muscles in your neck, glutes, and thighs.

Strengthens Your Spine And Back Muscles

If you’re not careful, some of the most popular workout exercises can lead to back injuries. These include squats, pushups, glute bridges, lunges, and pull-ups. Exercising these muscle groups properly will give you a stronger support base and help avoid injuries.

Boosts Your Metabolism

The 30-day plank challenge for beginners helps you burn calories during the workout by challenging your body and muscles. Planking also helps build muscle, which boosts your Basal Metabolic Rate so you continue burning calories even at rest.

Helps Improve Your Posture

This workout strengthens your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs, which makes it easier to keep your shoulders back and your lower back in a neutral position while sitting or standing.

Improves Your Balance

This 30-day plank challenge is designed for women beginners and men. It will workout your core muscles and improve your posture. Having strong core muscles and a good posture helps your body carry itself with proper balance.

Can Have A Positive Impact On Your Mental Health

A 2018 review discovered that not only does exercise reduce the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, but it also has remarkable benefits for mental health. The study found that individuals who exercised experienced 43·2 percent fewer days of poor mental health in the previous month than those who didn’t exercise.

What Is The Easiest Plank For Beginners?

When we think about starting this challenge, many of us will automatically try the basic variation either on our elbows or stretched arms with the legs straightened out behind us. If you have tried either of these versions and find yourself struggling, try the version below that is considered easier:

Kneeling Plank

  1. Begin in a prone position supporting yourself on bent knees and palms with extended arms and soft elbows (don’t lock the elbows).
  2. Slightly shift your weight forward and ensure that your body is in a straight line from your ears to your knees.
  3. Remember to breathe and keep your core engaged by pulling your navel to your spine.
  4. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.

This exercise is good for beginners and people who may have some back problems as it puts less stress on your lower back.

Other Variations

There are many ways to do a plank to work different core muscles and build strength and stability. You can also modify it if you are a beginner.

Tabletop Plank

If you find the plank difficult at first, try this variation as you build up strength. Doing a plank with your knees bent and lifted can help relieve some of the pressure off of your feet as you build core strength.

  1. Practice plank from a tabletop position by actively pressing into your hands and pulling your abs in, which will help you learn how to keep your spine neutral, as pictured.
  2. You can also tuck your toes under and practice lifting your knees slightly off of the floor.

Incline Plank

The key is to have your body in a line from your head to your heels. The incline plank is a variation of the plank that is easier to do. You can do an incline plank with your forearms or palms resting on a bench or step. The key is to have your body in a line from your head to your heels.

  1. Place your forearms or palms on a flat, elevated surface with your elbows directly under your shoulders.
  2. Walk your feet back until your body forms a straight line on a diagonal.
  3. Pull your abs in as you tuck your tailbone slightly and actively press into your forearms or palms.
  4. Try these variations to change up your plank and challenge your core strength even more.

Plank With Leg Lift

To perform a plank with a leg lift, start by lying on your stomach with your hands clasped in front of you. Raise yourself up onto your toes and forearms, keeping your back straight. If this is too difficult, you can perform the movement on your hands instead of your forearms. To add the leg lift, raise one leg off the ground and hold for a few seconds before lowering it back down. Repeat with the other leg.

  1. Slowly raise one leg 5 to 8 inches off the floor
  2. Count to two and slowly lower your leg to the floor.
  3. Switch legs and repeat.
  4. Do two to three sets of 10 reps.

Plank With Arm Lift

You can make the basic plank more challenging by adding an arm lift. To do this, press into the opposite forearm or palm. To perform a plank with an arm lift, follow these steps:

  1. Start in plank position.
  2. Carefully shift your weight to your right forearm (or palm).
  3. Extend your left arm straight out in front of you.
  4. Hold for three seconds while keeping your core tight.
  5. Slowly bring your arm back to starting position.
  6. Switch arms and repeat.
  7. Do two to three sets of 10 reps.

Low Plank

instead of balancing yourself on outstretched hands, you hold yourself up on your elbows and forearms.

Side Plank

  • Begin by lying on your right side, with the legs extended and stacked from hip to feet.
  • Place your right elbow directly under your shoulder and ensure your head is directly in line with your spine. Keep your left arm aligned along the left side of your body.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles, draw your navel toward your spine, and keep breathing.
  • On an exhale, slowly and steadily lift your hips and knees from the mat. Stop once your torso is straight in line with no sagging or bending.
  • Hold this position for 10, 20, or 30 seconds – or as long as you can before returning to the start position on the mat.
  • Change sides and do the same on the other side.

If you want to make this variation more challenging, try lifting the arm not holding you up to the ceiling.

Common Mistakes

To avoid strain or injury, make sure to avoid these errors.

  • Arching your back: If you arch your back, you are not engaging your abdominals sufficiently and you are putting more of the weight onto your arms. Check to be sure you are keeping your shoulders down and wide.
  • Sagging your hips: Your hips will start sinking once your abs have reached their fatigue limit. That’s a sign it’s time to end your plank. If it seems your hips are sagging from the beginning, try separating your feet a bit wider and focus on engaging your abs.
  • Tilting your head up: Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck. Keep your gaze down at the floor.

Safety and Precautions

You should not do planks if you suffer from a shoulder injury as it can aggravate the pain. If you are pregnant, planks are considered safe for most people though there may be a concern about placing stress on the abdominal wall.4 It may be best to modify the plank and do a side plank or an incline plank. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to see if this is an appropriate exercise.

How Many Planks A Day To See Results?

You don’t need to do a certain number of planks each day to see results. However, you should only hold the plank position for two minutes at most (1). If you break this up into intervals, you can do 4 to 10 different variations throughout the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles do planks work?

The plank exercise is beneficial for working the entire core, with a focus on the rectus abdominis. Additionally, it works the abdominal muscles that connect the pelvis to the spine and up to the shoulder girdle.

How many calories does planking burn?

How many calories you burn while holding a plank depends on your weight and how long you hold the plank.

What do planks help with?

Planks are good for strengthening your core muscles, which helps improve your balance and coordination during everyday activities. A strong core can also support you during other forms of athletic or physical activity and can even help protect your lower back from injury.

 

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Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

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