You know the saying: work smarter not harder. Maybe you’ve already incorporated that mindset into your training routine, ditching unfocused, 60-minute workouts for strategic 30-minute sessions, or an active recovery day instead of another tough HIIT class. Have opted for. Well done for the balance! But what about your planks? If you’re still stuck for minutes, you’re wasting your time. Less is more when it comes to this OG core exercise, at least when it comes to the numbers on the clock.
You may look around at the gym and see other people sweating around you, either in plank position for a few moments or marathon holds. If you’re wondering how long the average exerciser holds a plank, you’re asking the wrong question. There’s really no such thing as a standard, everyone is working towards different goals, from different starting points and with different levels of fitness. The better question is how long to last You hold a plank?
generally speaking, time under stress This is great for muscle development. However, anything longer than two minutes for a plank is, at best, futile or at worst harmful. That’s enough, Dan John, men’s Health Contributors and authors of can you go? told us earlier, This is just a plank. More is not better.
So, what does this mean for your planks? How long should you keep it for the best results, and how can you make sure you get the most for your effort? Here, Kevin Carr, CSFC and co-founder of Movement as medicineShares how to up your planking game and give this core-stabilization exercise the attention it deserves.
How long should you hold a plank?
According to Carr, whether you’re a beginner looking to build core strength or dial in your planks, the exercise can help build intra-abdominal pressure and develop isometric, anti-extension strength in the obliques and rectus abdominis muscles. . It’s a great tool for developing anterior core strength and the ability to statically control your spine, rib cage and pelvis in the sagittal plane, he says.
As far as setting a goal, I’d recommend working toward holding a front plank for a maximum of one minute, says Carr. This is because when you stay in it for too long your form can start to deteriorate and lower back pain may occur, not to mention that the plank is not a functional exercise as you would do it on a daily basis. Don’t do it in life, he says. After 60 seconds, you start to reach a point of diminishing returns, and it’s probably best to start moving toward exercises that are multi-planar and or more dynamic.
If you’re doing plank properly, you’ll be back to holding the position much sooner than you expect. This may mean you hold the plank for just 10 seconds, or you may hold for 60 seconds. To start, aim for 20 to 30 seconds.
How to get the most from your planks
Before moving on to plank variations or moving on to harder core moves, you’ll want to make sure you’re actually working on proper plank. Carr says there’s a huge difference between a loose, unmoving frame and a strong, stable frame with strong connections.
He says, when you focus on properly positioning your abdominal muscles and actively engaging them in the front plank, you’ll find you’re getting much more benefit from the exercise and doing it longer. Will not be able to maintain. Often, in relaxed front plank, you are left hanging at the top of the plank position with poor spinal alignment due to passive tension in your spine rather than actively using our abdominal muscles to stabilize the position.
how to plank
Sit on the floor and place your elbows directly beneath your shoulders, legs extended. Keep your weight on your elbows and toes.
Squeeze your glutes and core to create tension throughout the body. Think about pulling your navel into your spine.
Contract your lower back, lats and rhomboids. Your back should form a straight line; Do not allow your pelvis to sink down or your butt to lift up.
Keep your gaze downwards, keeping your neck in a neutral position.
Maintain tension as long as you hold the plank. If you lose tension before the time is up, end the pause.
Focus on improving the quality and intensity of your plank rather than trying to hold it for as long as possible. He adds, you should think about actively engaging your anterior abdominals, glutes and adductors and actively breathing to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise. Once you’ve really nailed the plank, you can think about leveling it as you progress.
Other plank variations
Break the monotony of forearms and high planks with these genius variations that provide variety for your mind and muscles. After mastering the plank, Carr says, you should move on to exercises that will dynamically challenge the core and force you to resist the movement in multiple ranges of motion.
Plank Shoulder Taps
Start in a high plank position with palms under shoulders, pelvis tilted, and core strong. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip distance to create a wider center of gravity.
Lift your left hand and bring it to your right shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then return your hand to the ground.
Repeat on the opposite side, tapping the right hand on the left shoulder and returning to the starting position. Keeping the hips stable, keep tapping the shoulders alternately.
Sets and Reps: 8 to 10 taps per hand
Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. To engage the palms, press the palms into the ground while keeping the inner side of the elbows facing forward.
Engage and hold core as you lift knees just an inch or two off the ground. Take a deep breath in, pulling your navel toward your spine.
Sets and Reps: Starting at 30 seconds, hold the same way you would a standard plank.
Plank with Leg Lifts
Start in a forearm plank position with elbows under shoulders, knees off the ground, tilting the pelvis and engaging the glutes. You can bring your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart to create stronger stability.
Brace your core as you lift your right leg just an inch or two to lift it off the floor. Hold for a second or two, then return the toes to the floor.
Repeat on the other side, lifting your left foot a few inches off the floor, holding, then returning toes to the ground.
Continue lifting the heels alternately, taking care not to rotate the heels on the hips.
Sets and Reps: 8 to 10 lifts per leg
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