I keep seeing lots of posts about people starting the 30 day plank challenge.
First of all YAY! Planks strengthen multiple muscles at once, and attack the transverse abs, your internal girdle, like no other exercise can. Take a look at all the muscles engaged while planking:
Second – here are a few tips to get the most out of your planks:
- Start your plank on your elbows and forearms, move up to your hands (push up position) as you get stronger.
- However, If you have a stronger upper body (polers!), you may want to stick with planks on your elbows and forearms. That way your shoulders, chest and lats don’t do all the work.
- Draw your bellybutton up and squeeze your entire core from chest to pelvic bone. Remembering to tighten the tops of your thighs.
- Keep your hips in line with your torso. You want a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Typical incorrect form include arching your lower back, dropping your hips, raising your hips too high.
- If your back starts to hurt, shorten the time you spend in your plank. Your transverse abs (targeted during planks) are starting to fatigue, and your lower back muscles are taking over.
- Instead of increasing your time in a plank, consider increasing your instability. Try it on a medicine ball or lift one leg while maintaining correct form. You’ll feel the burn soon!
Happy Planking from FitFatale!