How To Plank Correctly_Blog_The Bod_Sophie Guidolin

How To Plank Correctly

Stronger abs without a single crunch? Yes, please.

 Here's how to do a plank the right way every time 👇

Sure, the plank looks like an easy exercise—after all, you’re not even moving during it. However, there’s more involved in how to do a plank than you may think.

Firstly, what is a plank?

The plank is a bodyweight exercise which involves holding the trunk part of your body in a straight line off the ground. 

The static exercise engages multiple muscle groups at the same time which makes it extremely effective at strengthening your core, whilst also working the shoulders, arms and glutes. 

Getting into plank position is relatively simple but the tricky part is maintaining that position for a period of time.

They're a great addition to any exercise routine as they're equipment-free and quick to perform.

What are the benefits of a plank?

Regularly adding planks to your fitness regime will go some way to conditioning your core, improving your posture and stability. Planks are an effective safeguard against back pain as they strengthen your core which in turn, can help to alleviate pressure on your back. Planks also help you build endurance, since you try to hold the move for a certain amount of time.

Planks are a seriously foundational move, because they’re considered an “anti-movement” core exercise—meaning, your muscles have to work to resist moving rather than to actually create movement.

Not only can you build on the plank with more difficult variations and progressions, but the move will also serve as a base for a number of other popular exercises (the push-up, for instance) that you can add to your strength-training routine.

But before we get into how to make a plank more difficult, here’s everything you need to know about mastering the traditional plank first.


  1. Begin in a push-up position. 
  2. Lower both your forearms to the ground so that your elbows and fists are flat on the ground. Your palms should be balled up and your shoulders should be parallel to your elbows. 
  3. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. 
  4. Straighten your body, keeping your neck and spine neutral. Flex and engage your core, while squeezing your bottom. 
  5. Hold this position until after the burning begins, ensuring you always maintain your technique throughout. 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.

One reason a plank is such a versatile exercise is because there are a number of plank progressions and regressions that can make it harder or easier. If a regular forearm plank is too hard to start with, you can try dropping to your knees which reduces the stress and weight on your body. To make a plank harder, you can try a side plank, where you are propped up on one side, to create more of a challenge to your obliques.


Compensating proper form is similar to a quick fix. It may get you through the exercise at the time, but only guarantees you're developing a bad habit that becomes more and more difficult to unlearn. You're far better off performing a plank for half a minute with the correct technique, rather than a two-minute plank with poor posture.

The foundation of a good plank is when: Your weight is resting on your forearms, not your hands. The body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Your toes are firmly on the ground and your glutes are squeezed slightly to stabilise your body The neck and spine are neutral, you can look at a spot on the floor beyond your hands to help with this. A common error when performing the plank is drooping or collapsing the lower back. If you dip your bottom or don't pull your bellybutton toward your spine, you put immense pressure on your lower back. So much goes into a standard movement like this and only demonstrates the effort it takes to workout right.

Find more core-focused exercises and equipment-free workouts in The Bod app. Get 7 days free with no strings attached, then as little as $16.65 per month.

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