Getting Started with Plank Pose


Plank exercise can exercise the core muscle group, enhance muscle strength, and improve athletic ability. Benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Improving balance
  • Improving body posture
  • Enhancing spinal stability

Plank exercise is simple and easy to do, with minimal space restrictions, but it has high efficiency, which means it has a high cost-effectiveness ratio.

Plank exercise is not effective for weight loss.

Preparing for Exercise#

It is recommended to warm up before any exercise, such as doing some stretching exercises, moving the head, shoulders, neck, waist, abdomen, knee joints, and ankle joints. You can also do leg presses, etc.

Assess your physical condition, if you feel discomfort in your shoulders, neck, or lumbar spine, or if you are physically unable, it is not suitable to do plank exercise. Improper exercise can easily cause bodily injury.

Key Points of the Exercise#

1. Arms:

Support the elbows on the ground with the elbows directly below the shoulders, and the distance between the elbows is the same as the width of the shoulders.

Keep the position of the elbows unchanged, and naturally move the arms forward, slightly adducting them, and clench the fists.

Keep the upper arms and forearms at about 90 degrees, with the elbows and forearms close to the ground.

Do not exert excessive force to push the body backward.

2. Shoulders and Neck:

Tighten the shoulder blades to avoid compensatory force from the trapezius muscles due to excessive shoulder shrugging.

Tightening the shoulder blades is important in many exercises, such as bench press training. Zhihu Column: Why is "Tightening the Shoulder Blades" so important in fitness training? How to tighten the shoulder blades? The key is to lower the shoulders (scapular depression) and straighten the chest (scapular retraction).

Naturally retract the chin to keep the head in line with the cervical spine. Do not excessively lower or raise your head, look down with your eyes, relax your neck, and maintain the stability of the head position.

Do not exert excessive force to push the body backward.

3. Back, Abdomen, and Hips:

Avoid arching the back. Arching the back causes the arms to compensate for the force.

Avoid slouching. Slouching puts a burden on the lumbar spine.

Avoid raising the hips too high. It will disperse the strength of the core muscles.

The correct posture is: engage the abdominal muscles, tighten the hips, and relax the waist as much as possible, so that the head, upper back, hip joints, and hips are in a straight line.

4. Legs:

Keep the legs straight, naturally inward and close together, push the heels back, heels touching each other, soles of the feet perpendicular to the ground, and support with the toes to increase the stability of the movement.

5. Breathing

Control the rhythm, do not breathe too fast or too slow, too deep or too shallow. Keep emotions stable and calm. It is not suitable to do plank exercise when the body or emotions are excited.

Training Methods#

Prioritize maintaining the correct form of the exercise and ensure the quality of the movement. If you are physically unable, you can pause the training, and it is not recommended to force it, as it can easily lead to injury.

It varies from person to person, and should be gradually progressed. Blindly pursuing intensity is not advisable. The longer the plank exercise time, the weaker the body's ability to support. Insisting forcefully can increase heart rate and stimulate the cardiovascular system; at the same time, deformation of body movements can easily cause harm to the body.

If you have a weak foundation, you can reduce the difficulty and try kneeling plank exercise. For example, train for 15 seconds, rest for 15 seconds as one set, follow the body condition, and do 3-5 sets at a time. As the number of sets increases, you can increase the rest time appropriately.

After gaining some strength, keep the number of sets the same, and try to increase the training time and rest time in increments of 5 seconds, or try using both feet for support.

After adapting to the intensity of the plank exercise, keep the number of sets at 3-5 sets, and gradually increase the training time to 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes, while adjusting the rest time accordingly.

There is no need to pursue a high number of sets, 3-5 sets are enough, as long as the exercise effect is achieved. If you feel that the intensity is not enough, you can increase the training duration of a single set, reduce the rest interval, or slightly increase the number of sets. But there is no need to pursue a long duration of persistence, within 3 minutes is enough.

Introduce an interesting training method: the "small amount, multiple times" method. You can do 10 seconds, rest for 5-10 seconds, three times as one set, rest for 20-30 seconds between sets, and do 3-5 sets. Of course, it depends on the actual physical tolerance.

National Sports Administration: Scientific Fitness Plank Exercise - Longer is Not Necessarily Better

NetEase: Correct Posture for Plank Exercise, Pay Attention to 5 Details, Improve Movement Quality

Sina: 7 Common Mistakes in Plank Exercise, Are You Doing It Right?

Zhihu: Misconceptions about Plank Exercise, Absolutely Do Not Do Plank Exercise for More Than 3 Minutes!

Ownership of this post data is guaranteed by blockchain and smart contracts to the creator alone.