How To Do A Plank Perfectly

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The Plank, is a simple but effective total-body exercise. Holding the body (light as a feather) stiff as a board develops strength primarily in the core — the muscles that connect the upper and lower body — as well as the shoulders, arms, and glutes.



Planking is a balance and core conditioning exercise. In yoga, the plank is often done as part of the sun salutation sequence, or as part of a vinyasa in a yoga flow sequence. You can also perform the plank as a stand-alone exercise. There are two major types of planks, the full plank, where you balance on both arms, and the side plank, where you balance on one arm.

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Forearm Plank


  • Start off on a yoga mat in the pushup position. Starting with the pushup position is the easiest way to get into the plank.
  • Lower both your forearms to the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Your palms should be balled up, and directly underneath your shoulders.
  • Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  • Straighten your body but keep your neck and spine neutral. Imagine that you’re a plank of wood, and that you’re straight as an arrow.
  • Flex your abdominals and squeeze your glutes. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working out in this exercise.
  • Hold this position, also known as the plank, until after the burning begins. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

Side Plank


This variation better engages the obliques, or the side muscles of the core, than a standard plank. Lie on one side with the legs stacked on top of one another then prop the body up on the hand or elbow with feet stacked. Modify the position by raising the opposing arm or leg (or both!) in the air to make the plank more difficult, or make the move easier by crossing the upper leg in front of the body for additional support.





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