While personal training, plank is the first choice for abs training for me. Yet I see many doing it not safely or not effectively. Let’s see how you should perform to optimize the result.
Plank is sooooo good
The first and main reason I think plank is the best ab workout is you can maintain the spine neutral all the time compared to situps, crunch and other ab exercises.
Secondly, it is bodyweight exercise, no equipment is required to do plank. If you are relatively bigger than normal, you just want to find a higher surface (like a table, bench) which is still effective.
Lastly, planks have varieties. You just add some movement / weights to change the intensity. You definitely don’t get bored with them.
Nothing would be perfect for everyone.
Plank is generally out for anyone who has high blood pressure, If you insist on doing so, add some movements and focus on breathing.
In fact, you should never hold your breath for a long time if you have high blood pressure.
Plank Common mistake
A butt sticks out and you are missing the purpose of doing this.
Remember physics? You are like a bridge and the center of your body resists collapse.
Your torso needs to be parallel to the ground.
Another common mistake is being Lumbar Lordosis while planking
This is also very common that a hip tilts forward. But the big difference between the butt sticking out one and this mistake is Lumbar lordosis while planking is so susceptible to lower back injury.
While training, you want to reduce the risk of injury as much as possible. In order to do so, maintain a hip neutral position or even tuck in a bit like you are doing crunch.
In that way, the spine is in a safer position and working on abs effectively.
How plank should be
A torso is parallel to the ground, hip is in a neutral position so the spine is also in a neutral position. You can put your feet apart or together. It is your choice but feet together are slightly harder.
Click here to learn the importance of working CORE
Exercises include plank variation in videos here