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To See Real Results, You Must Hold A Plank For This Long

How long should you hold a plank to get results without overdoing it? Likewise. Here’s why you should work on your core in the first place.

Why Is Core Strength Important?

plank benefits

Your core muscles are your back extensors, your internal and external obliques (which help you turn your trunk), your obliques (which allow you to bend to the side), and your transverse abdominis (which are used when your Bootcamp instructor tells you to “draw your belly button into your spine!”), your rectus abdominis (also called your “six-pack” muscles), and your multifidus (which keeps your spine stable).

Annie Mulgrew, the founder of CITY ROW in New York City and NASM-certified personal trainer, says core strength is key to good health.

Core strength gives stability and balance, strengthens a person, and makes everyday tasks easier. You move, breathe, and work better with a strong core. Eight weeks of core training made college runners more robust and balanced, according to a 2019 PLOS ONE study. According to other studies, strengthening your core daily can reduce chronic back pain. Mulgrew: “A stronger core means less work for your lower back, knees, and shoulders.”

Benefits Of Plank

Mulgrew says which core-strengthening move you do depends on what you like (or can do). Planks are her favorite because they’re the most cost-effective.

“Planking is a better whole-body exercise than crunches,” she says. Planking exercises the back, hips, glutes, legs, and arms. It works deep stabilizing muscles isometrically. Sit-ups work the hip and lower back muscles more than crunches but less than a plank. If you have a back or neck injury, crunches and sit-ups can worsen, but a plank can strengthen those muscles without hurting them.

Plank Perfect Position

Start? How to do a plank to strengthen and balance your core:
Kneel down. Hands under shoulders. Back up slowly. Put your feet wider than your hips to feel more stable. Close your feet to feel more challenged. Line up your feet and head. Look down and ahead. Hold abs, quads, and glutes.

plank benefits

Here are some more tips from Mulgrew about form:

  • Stretch your arms and legs.
  • Shoulders should be pulled back to make room for shoulder blades.
  • Tailbone to heels.
  • Utilize glutes, hips, and abs.

How Long Should I Hold a Plank?

The answer is not simple. Albert Matheny, R.D., C.S.C.S., co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab and advisor to Promix Nutrition, says you can plank every day. Why? Looks matter. “Perfect form is key.” Matheny says, “Keep it up as long as possible.”

Doug Sklar founded PhilanthroFIT in New York. He recommends three 60-second sets. Start with shorter stages and work up to 60 seconds, he says. Still, a minute is the optimal plank time. Matheny says prolonged stress is difficult. If you can plank for a minute easily, tighten your abs, glutes, and quads, he says.

Don’t hold a plank longer than you can if you’re not ready. Sklar says holding a plank for too long can strain your lower back. “A tired back may arch. Here, you risk injury.” (60-second retake!) When you can, plank for a minute with good form. You’ll benefit greatly.

Read More: Wonho Workout Routine And Diet Plan