Looking to finally get those summer abs you always wanted? The plank pose is awesome for building core strength and stability. The benefits of planking include increased balance, posture, flexibility, and the strength of your core, upper-body, and lower-body. The front plank (shown below) is the most basic form of all the planks, but there are countless variations and modifications of this exercise including the forearm plank, side plank, wall plank, reverse plank, and many many more!
A few key tips to holding your front plank:
- make sure that your shoulders are directly in line over your hands
- keep your body in a straight line- never let your butt raise above your hips or let it drop below
- engage your core muscles to increase stability
- don't forget to breathe!
Though the plank is often practiced during yoga, this simple exercise can be added to any workout and can be done anywhere. If you want to increase the length of your plank, it's best to practice them in intervals. You can start out with 30 second intervals, and increase them in 15 second increments when they become too easy. If the full front plank is too difficult for you, begin with a modified plank where you keep your knees on the ground, and then you can slowly work your way up to your feet.
If you're ready to put yourself to the test, you can try the plank challenge by 30 Day Fitness Challenges. Now get off the couch, and go do some planks!