The plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core because it builds isometric strength to help sculpt your waistline and improve your posture. This total body exercise also engages your back, arms, shoulders, glutes and hamstrings. Better yet, you don’t need any equipment and can do it just about anywhere.
The Standard Plank
1. Start kneeling on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lift the knees to come onto the toes. Find yourself in a push-up position with a flat back as you contract the abs and straighten the legs.
2. Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs are working as your quads are engaged but be careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
3. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands.
4. Hold the position for 20 seconds. Then try 30 seconds. As you get more comfortable and stronger, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath. Remember quality versus quantity.
Once you’ve mastered the plank and can hold your form for more than one minute, try modifying the move to add intensity such as a side plank, single-leg plank or using a medicine ball to challenge your stability.