Tighten up your plank form with these tips
Planks are a very important part of any exercise routine. This move specifically activates and works the transverse abdominis, the deep ab muscle that wraps around your stomach like a belt and holds everything in. Planks are one of the few ab exercises that actually activates this deep muscle, but it is essential to work in order to have a strong core. Make sure your workout routine includes at least one type of plank, and work to strengthen and improve your planks over time.
Another important tip is to make sure your plank form is perfect and you are aligning your body correctly to activate the core in the best way possible. This video shows you correct plank form, as well as a few variations of planks you can try if you are just starting out.
Motified Knee Plank: This plank is a great option for beginners who are just starting to learn and do planks. Complete the plank on your knees so that part of your weight is supported by the floor. This reduces the amount of weight in your shoulders and supported by your core.
Regular Plank: This is your basic plank on your hands and toes. Make sure to keep a straight line from your neck all the way down your spine, keep your shoulder aligned over your wrists and your core in tight. Also make sure to breathe and gaze just slightly in front of your mat to keep your neck in neutral.
Forearm Plank: This is a great option if you have any wrist issues, including pain or strain. Plank on your forearms with your forearms parallel to each other. This helps keep the alignment of the shoulders correct. Also, in this position make sure to align your shoulder over your elbow joint, and again keep the abs in tight and gaze just in front of your mat on the floor.
Try whatever plank option works for you. Start first holding for 20-30 seconds, and then work your way up to a full minute plank in increments of 5-10 seconds each week.