You’ve probably noticed lately that I’m talking a lot about what plank is. As a personal trainer and instructor in group training, I know that I can expect 2 types of reactions when I order girls to do plank in training.
The quiet groan of those who hate this exercise, and the “hidden” joy of others who love this exercise.
So what’s so great about planks?
If you plank regularly, you will notice progress very quickly. It builds basic body strength, promotes balance and improves your posture. It is an extremely “functional” exercise, which means that Plank practically imitates the movement we perform all day (when we stand, we are in plank – of course in a different way!).
For the best possible plank performance, keep the neck straight, pull the abdomen inward (do not stretch the abdominal muscles) and keep the hips aligned with the torso. If you need to adjust the exercise (difficulty), do it by lowering your knees – pay attention to the hips.
Plank activates all your major muscle groups. You may immediately feel this in your core, but after about 10 seconds, your body begins to employ additional support muscles.
More planking tips
Make sure that you can keep your core supported and you’re taking deep breaths the entire time. If you feel like the exercise is causing you to push your core out and you don’t feel supported, that’s a great cue to modify.
If you are newly postpartum or pregnant, I recommend that you avoid planks. They can cause intra abdominal pressure on the connective tissue that is separating to make room for the baby. And too much pressure can contribute to diastasis recti, which is when the core muscles remain abnormally separated after baby arrives.