Ever since I discovered my beloved gym, Method 19, I have paid close attention to my form when I work out. I am always amazed just how much more a correct exercise can be felt versus the incorrect way to do it. A lot of us do planks, so I asked trainer, Bret Al-Imari with Method 19 if there is a right or wrong way to plank. Here is what he told me….
This is the correct form. A proper plank will strengthen your core and your upper body as well. In this picture, Bret has me on the Vibe Machine, which he uses quite a bit in his gym because the vibrating machine helps to evenly distribute the tension in the muscles so you are less sore the next day. I love working on the Vibe and I do think it makes a difference.
Notice that my back is flat. I am also not dipping towards the floor either. Aim for a flat back and draw your belly button in towards your spine. If you squeeze your legs, you will also work your thighs.
For beginners, start with holding the plank position for 15 seconds. In time you will be able to work your way up to a minute and even longer. I remember when 60 seconds used to be so challenging for me. I can now do 60 seconds and it isn’t bad (on most days anyway). It is all about doing a plank daily or several times a week at least.
With the plank and many other exercises, it is important to check your technique to avoid injury and back pain. Plus when your technique is correct, the exercise is more challenging. Another excellent trainer at Method 19, Stacie is very good about checking and correcting my technique. I am always so surprised by just how different (and more challenging) it feels when I’m doing an exercise right!
Happy planking! Your core will thank you and I love that this is an exercise that you can do anywhere so do this when you are traveling as well.