Written by ladies personal trainer Justina Triasovaite.

Exercises that do not require any special place, environment, equipment or focus are the best ones, plank is one of them. Plank is an exercise that strengthens your entire body – from building your back strong to firming up your lower back. It is a form of exercise similar to a pushup in which you maintain a position for the maximum possible time. Its one of my most favourite exercise for abs.

Muscles engaged

  • transversus abdominis muscle
  • ​gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles
  • the adductor muscles of the hip
  • Internal and external obliques

How-to perform 


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There are several forms in plank but the basic one as mentioned above is similar to a pushup. To perform this exercise, get down in apushup position on the floor and bend your arms at 90 degrees resting your weight on the forearms. The position of your elbows should be in a way that they are directly beneath your shoulder . Your body’s position should be in a way that it forms a straight line from head to your feet. You goal  should be to hold and maintain the same position for at least 2 minutes. Few of the other forms of planks are; leg raised plank, one sided plank and elbow plank.

Benefits

  • Improves posture
  • Activates core muscles
  • Enhances appearance
  • Decreases risks of back injuries
  • Boosts metabolism

Common mistakes

It is very important to maintain a perfect form while performing a plank otherwise you will lose all the body benefits.

  • One of the major mistakes that people do while performing a plank is that they let their hips drop. The actual form of your hip should be in a way that it is in line with your heel and head.
  • You do not position your hands in a proper manner, either they are too apart or you stagger them.
  • Another mistake is bending of knees. Bending the knees reduces the effectiveness of your body.
  • People think abs is all about your back and forget that if you tighten your stomach muscles, you can work on your abs.
  • Many people put pressure on their shoulders and round them, this strain your shoulders and neck.

    Variations/progressions

    There are several variations in plank; here are a few of them picked for you by female personal trainer Justina Triasovaite.

    Basic: more like a pushup in which you bend your arms in a 90 degree position resting weight on the forearms

    Plank with a leg raise: similar as a basic plank but each leg has to be raised 5 – 6 inches off the floor one at a time

    Spiderman: start off with a basic plank and then move your knee one by one towards your elbow without twisting or moving upper torso. Then bring back the leg down and do the same with other leg

    Rocking: start with a basic plank position and slowly rock back and forth by moving your head away and towards from your hands.

    Who should do this exercise

      Plank is a form of exercise that can be done by all whether you are at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level. For those who are at the beginning stage of doing workouts a 1+ minute is good for them, for intermediates 3+ minutes and for advanced level 5+ minutes. Give it a go! add extra 10-20 sec each time you atempting to perform this exercise.

      If you enjoyed this article click here for more chest exercises written by female personal trainer Justina

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      Written by: Justina

      Professional Personal Trainer in London Justina Triasovaite is a trilingual, highly educated, professional and friendly advanced PT. 100% dedicated to fitness, Justina's workouts are extremely varied, adapted to you, fun and effective. If you want to enjoy exercising, not be bored and SEE RESULTS don't hesitate to take your fitness to the next level with Justina!

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