Get Pumped About the Plank

The Last Word on Fitness by Craig Boyd If a client asks me what the best abdominal exercise is, I invariably tell them it’s the plank exercise. This simple

plank position
Plank 'do': proper alignment

yet powerful exercise targets the entire core area – abdominals, lower back, hips – and helps you build endurance. No matter what level of fitness you’re at, you can always make plank position a challenge. If you’re new, you can start the plank on your knees. If you have abs of steel, you can add weights to your plank and/or work towards holding the plank position for extended periods of time. On that note, does anyone know what the world record is for holding plank? It’s 33 minutes and 40 seconds, set by a 68-year-old Aussie (the previous record was held by a 50-year-old). We’re not suggesting you work towards holding the plank position for 30 minutes, or even 15. All you need to aim for

plank position2
Plank 'don't': hips too high

is two minutes. And if you are adding side plank to your routine, aim for 90 seconds per side. A few tips to achieving plank position perfection:

  • Keep your arms aligned under your shoulders
  • Maintain an active scapula (don’t let your shoulders slouch)
  • Keep your hips and shoulders aligned
  • Pull your belly button in toward your spine

So keep working on your plank and before long you’ll notice a big difference in your posture, core strength and endurance.

plank position3
Plank 'don't': hips sagging

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