The plank exercise has been featured in most abs workouts. It is an exercise where your body works against gravity by holding a certain pose. It’s believed that it is effective in the stabilization and strengthening of your core muscles. It’s not as easy in practice as it looks on paper.
How long should you hold a plank to produce results?
You got to hold a plank for ten seconds to see results. The 10-second rule was established in research conducted by spine specialist Stuart McGill, Ph.D. However, some trainers disagree with this and argue that you only get to start from 10 seconds as you progress to 60 seconds. McGill believes that the common person’s back health is important and limits it to 3 sets of 10- second planks.
How to correctly do a plank
Your position throughout the plank determines whether it’s the correct form or not. Having the correct position will promote the health of your spine. Start in the press-up position, with your arms slightly wider than your shoulders, resting your weight on your hands flat against the ground or forearms. The position should make a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head, captivating your core.
The common errors individuals make when doing a plank
Take a video of yourself when doing the planks and check if you are making the following mistakes:
Hips too high
Having your hips too high makes it easier for you since core muscles are strained less. The same applies when you have your hips too low. Focus on keeping your body in a straight line. To achieve this, try to suck your belly towards your spine.
Do not apply too much pressure on your spine; it is not advisable. Relax your neck by focusing your eyes on the ground. Focusing in other directions will remove your spine from a neutral position.
Arms in the wrong position
You should correctly engage your core. Therefore, do not tuck your elbows too close to the body or the fore of your shoulders.