4 ways to ensure you are doing the perfect plank
The plank is one of the best core exercises out there, and quite possibly the best core exercise out there. It works almost every muscle in the body and a real bang for your (buck) core. We even dedicated a whole article that speaks on the POWER of the plank–it really is that good, but what is even better is actually doing the plank right. If you don’t do the plank right, then you can’t quite possibly achieve the maximum benefits from it. How do you know if you are doing your planks right, you ask? Great question.
Here are 4 ways to ensure you are executing the plank perfectly each and every time.
Use a Mirror
When you are first starting to practice an exercise or when you think your execution could use a little help, practice in front of a mirror. You really can’t tell exactly what position your body is in unless you look in a mirror. If you need to correct yourself, then go ahead until your body looks straight as a board from head to toe in the mirror. Once your body is in the right position, really pay attention to what that feels like to be in the perfect plank. That way you can get into proper position by feel and not have to be in front of a mirror every time.
You Probably Sink Your Hips
More times than not, people sink their hips too low. When your hips are too low you are certainly not using your core and more importantly you could be putting some unnecessary pressure on your low back. Take a look in the mirror and make sure that your body is in a straight line aka like a plank and that your lower back doesn’t look like the shape of a smile.
Suck It In
You aren’t doing a plank properly if you aren’t engaging your core. It is important to draw your belly button in towards your spine to strengthen your core through planking. Ladies, pretend you are trying to fit into your favorite pair of pants that only fit on those ‘skinny’ days. Typically you have to jump your way into them and then suck it in as you are buttoning them up. That sucking in part, that is what you should be doing during the whole duration of a plank. Guys, pretend you are about to get punched in the stomach. Your first reaction to getting punched it to tighten your core, now do that during a plank.
Shoulder Blades Down
A small tweak that people aren’t aware of, because they are focusing on not sagging their hips or keeping their core tight, is that their shoulders are in their ears. It is important not to tense your shoulders when you are planking as this can cause your back to change position as well as add unnecessary stress to the neck, shoulder and wrist tension. You want to pull your shoulders back and down and if you are trying to put your shoulder blades into your back pockets.
Who is your next plank accountability partner?