To plank or not to plank, that is the question.
The answer is yes! The benefits of planking are enormous, as this exercise helps build your core, develop better balance, and support your posture for better functional movement every day. You should be planking as much as possible, and in every variation possible to get the most out of this essential workout.
Learn more about the benefits of planking when you read these tips and tricks from our coaches at Gloveworx.
All Day, Every Day
Many people claim they can plank forever without feeling any strain in their abs. In this situation, their body is most likely trying to take a shortcut to working out the abdominals.
When you perform the plank, you usually just hold yourself up in any way possible, using any combination of muscle and bone to support your weight. Many people are mostly engaging and working their shoulders more than anything else, so they don’t feel anything in their core because they aren’t using it. To enjoy the full benefits of planking, focus on three things: elbows, hips, and butt.
Start with Your Elbows
While the plank is a relatively static position, driving your elbows towards your toes creates a constant pulling motion, starting from the point of contact with the elbows and moving towards your feet during the entire duration of the plank. Think about ripping the floor back with the elbows as you plank to massively increase core activation!
Your Hips Should Not Dip
Your back should be so flat that a coach should be able to set the table on it without it falling. Accomplish a flatter back by thrusting your hips forward from the bottom to create a posterior pelvic tilt. Hold your pelvis in this position during the entire time you are holding a plank.
Last, Butt Not Least
Clenching your glutes is an important part of the plank position, as it supports your core instead of deflecting the exercise away from it. Like the pulling action with the elbows, this activation of the glutes will engage the lower abdomen and help target the pelvic floor specifically to ensure you get more benefit from your planking.
Getting It Right
When you incorporate all of these activations into your plank, you will feel the difference and start to see the results. Planks are the perfect core building exercise, as you can perform them almost anywhere, and they have tons of variations (like the side plank) with more great benefits. Get to it!