How To Hold A Plank Longer
For what seems like a really basic exercise, a plank can really help you in getting a stronger core. If you have ever seen anybody holding a plank, you must have thought to yourself just how easy the move looks… until you actually drop down on the floor and do it yourself!
Fitness enthusiasts believe that anybody who says that a minute passes really fast has probably never held a plank for a minute long! Just doing a full plank for 30 seconds may require a lot of effort for a few, let alone a full 60 seconds one. The plank is one of my favorite core exercises for my clients and I think that everyone should be add this core exercise into their workout routine.
However, the benefits of following a plank routine consistently are so amazing that it would be a really dumb idea to skip over the plank and do something else. From helping your spine become more aligned, improving your posture and balance and of course, strengthening your core, the plank should definitely be a part of your exercise regime.
And to help you have an easier time managing a plank for more than 30 seconds, we provide you with four ways. Let’s get started.
How to do a plank
The forearm plank is a great exercise for toning the core muscles and upper body. To do a forearm plank, start in a push-up position with your elbows and forearms on the ground. Place your feet hip-width apart and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Keeping your core engaged, hold this position for 30-60 seconds. For an added challenge, try lifting one leg or arm off the ground. Remember to breathe throughout the exercise and to keep your body in a straight line from head to toe. For best results, perform 2-3 sets of the exercise 2-3 times per week.
The plank is a total body exercise that also works the core muscles. There is no movement in the plank, it is an isometric exercise. Good form is key to build core strength. Common mistakes include: putting the elbows too far out from the shoulders, keeping the hips too high and not engaging the glutes during the plank. Bad form can make or break planks.
Core muscles worked in the plank
The plank is a popular exercise that targets the core muscles. These muscles include the rectus abdominis, which runs down the center of the abdomen, as well as the internal obliques and external obliques, which are located on the sides of the abdomen. The transversus abdominis is a deep abdominal muscle that helps to stabilize the spine. When all of these muscles work together, they help to provide support for the spine and maintain a good posture. In addition, strong core muscles can help to improve balance and coordination. As a result, the plank is an excellent exercise for toning and strengthening the core muscles. The plank works many different muscles and is a good part of any fitness routine.
There are many variations of the plank exercise, each with its own benefits. The high plank is the most common variation, and it works the entire core musculature. The side plank targets the oblique muscles, while the plank with twist helps to improve rotational strength. To perform a high plank, simply assume a push-up position and hold for 30-60 seconds. For a side plank, lie on your side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then repeat on the other side. To do a plank with twist, assume a high plank position and then twist your torso to one side, reaching your hand to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. By incorporating these variations into your workout routine, you can effectively target all of the major muscle groups in your core. If the forearm plank position is too hard you can do a knee plank.
Here’s some tips on how to hold a plank longer.
Play Your Favorite Song
A lot of people find it easier to hold a plank while listening to their favorite song in the background. A song, on an average, is somewhere between 2 to 3 minutes long. You can break the song to suit your needs. For example, you can tell yourself to hold the plank position till the chorus comes on for the first time.
Start Naming Things with Each Letter of the Alphabet
The trick to holding a plank for longer is to keep your mind busy and not focus on the time. Though making life-changing decisions while doing a plank hardly seems to be a good idea, what you can do is mentally start naming things with each alphabet, starting from A going till Z.
Time goes faster that way.
If coming up with names of things starting with each alphabet seems like a lot of mental work, you can simply grab a book or a magazine, plop it open in front of you, and read the lines as you hold your plank.
The idea behind this is the same: keeping your mind distracted and not allowing it to focus on the time.
Switch it Up
The really awesome thing about planks is its variation. You have a full plank, you have an elbow plank, an up and down plank, a side plank, a plank where you just balance on one arm while the other is extended outwards etc. If you have trouble holding a full plank for a minute, you can drop down to an elbow plank for 30 seconds. The trick is to keep the plank, but you can switch up the variations and give your body something new to adjust too.
Check out our blog on ab workouts from home.
Try any one of these tricks the next time you are “planking” and see which works out best for you!
If you want to try a sessions with a personal trainer visit us at www.onthegofitnesspro.com