Dominate the plank

16 Jan Dominate the plank

We have all seen them, and maybe occasionally been one of them. Arms wobbling, body shaking plankers.

Done correctly though, the plank is one of the good ones. It is an exercise that gives you a big bang for your buck, great benefits in a short space of time.

  • Why it’s done:
    • The primary gain is to strengthen your core
    • It tones your shoulders, arms and bum
    • To test your mental strength!
  • How it’s done:
    • Posture and form is the key thing, not duration.
    • Get down into the press-up position then drop down on to your elbows instead of hands.
    • There should be a straight line between your shoulders, hips and ankles. Get someone to have a look at you to see how you are doing. Often people will lift their mid-back and bum too high in the air
    • Engage your core by sucking your belly button towards your spine (only gently though as you should still be able to breathe!)
  • Variations:
    • To make it harder – lift one leg at a time to build the load on your core. You can also lift one leg and the opposite arm to increase that further/
    • To make it easier – Instead of being on your toes you can drop down on to your knees instead.
  • How Long should you aim for?
    • Novice – up to 30 seconds
    • Moderate – up to 60 seconds
    • Strong – up to 1 minute 30 seconds
    • Very strong – 2 minutes
    • Master – 3 minutes and beyond
    • World record holder – 5 hours 15 minutes 15 seconds!