What’s that one exercise that is considered of the best core exercises? Well, in my opinion, it’s the plank! While it’s both simple and effective when done correctly, it’s a challenging core exercise that is taught in many of our classes (Sweata Weatha, Candybarre, Next Stop; Skinny, and various Blended Rides), but also is a movement that can be performed just about anywhere! Isn’t it amazing how not moving while supported by your forearms and toes requires so much muscle coordination? Well, since it does, below I show a correct and incorrect plank and explain, step by step how to perform the correct one.

  1. Start on your hands and knees and place your forearms on the ground/mat with elbows aligned below the shoulders and arms parallel to the body, approximately shoulder-width apart

  2. Tuck one toe at a time behind you, lengthening your body - trying not to shift your upper body, all while imagining you are pushing the floor away from you with your elbows.

  3. Ground your toes and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Keep in mind, your legs should be working in this move too; but careful not to hyperextend your knees.

  4. Neutralize your neck and spine by looking just about a foot beyond your hands.

  5. Brace your entire abdominal wall as you hold this position, protecting your lower back by tucking your pelvic floor under and squeezing those glutes.

  6. Avoid shallow-chest breathing, as it creates tension in your neck; Instead, maintain a slow, controlled breath.

If you are new to the plank, try holding for :20 seconds with a :10 second break and repeat two to three times. If you are a seasoned plank’er, try lifting one leg off the floor a few inches to a balance, then alternate 10-20 times while keeping proper form. Make sure you never feel pain in your lower back.

Remember, a perfect plank is all about alignment! That is, your entire body should be in a perfectly straight line, starting with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and all the way down to your ankles. Practice, practice, practice makes for the perfect plank!

Leave questions / comments below.

xx, Heather Little Miss KiA