Plankety Planks

How do you know if you’ve got good core strength? If you can hold a plank for more than a minute. Hate planks? If you do, it’s probably because you suck at them, or they hurt your back. I know I’ve hated lots of things, but once I got better at them, I LOVED them. You should learn to love your planks, they’re good for you! Start holding a plank for 30 seconds and see how it feels.

“But I do 1,000 crunches every day.”
Yeah weeeeeeeell if you can do 1,000 crunches but can’t hold a plank for 45 seconds, chances are, you’re doing your crunches wrong because they aren’t helping your actual abdominal strength. Don’t feel bad, most people do crunches wrong. Don’t sweat it. Plank it. These can be done on your hands or your elbows (I do mine on my elbows since I have a wrist issue).

“But planks hurt my back.”
Again, if you’re in pain (especially in the lower back) you’re most likely a) doing them incorrectly or b) not strong enough for a full plank yet. Do a plank in front of a mirror and don’t let your lower back dip down below your hips!

“Well if I’m not strong enough how the HECK do I get started?!”
You start with a modified plank, with your knees on the ground. When those get easy, you move up to a regular plank.
If 30 seconds seemed like an eternity or you were shakin’ like a polaroid picture, stick with that time length. If 30 seconds was a piece of cake, bump your next one up to 45 seconds, 60 seconds, etc. Once this time starts to feel easy, you’re ready to bump up your time another 15 seconds. Do these once or twice a day. You’ll get better at them quickly!
* Keep your elbows under your shoulders.
*Keep your abs tight, so your back doesn’t dip down.
*Don’t stop breathing. Holding your breath doesn’t help.
* Do these once or twice a day. You’ll get better at them quickly!
*Added Bonus: Isometric exercises (ones in which your muscle is contracting but not shortening or lengthening) help to sculpt muscle. So get going with your planks before swimsuit season hits!
Plank Challenge: 2 minute plank. Get after it!
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  1. I’m weird apparently, because I love the things most people hate.. I love lunges and squats and I really love planks! I started by doing them in front of a mirror to make sure my form was perfecto!

  2. TWO minutes? Ok, lady…It’s on! And feel free to pass along any more core toning advice. Trying to get that baby belly back in shape. HAHA

  3. I’m doing some planks today! (well going to try to anyway!)
    And do some more instructional posts like this. Whip my cheese and baguette ass in shape!

  4. These are the best weapon against tummy flab. I did a two month fitness boot camp last spring and planks became my best friend! I am actually in physical therapy right now due to a back problem and my therapist has me doing planks every day to strengthen my core…and it’s working. Great advice!

    So glad you visited my blog so I could find your lovely blog:)

  5. Makki says

    I love this post too!
    (just stopped by to ensure you that this tutorial is awesome 🙂 )


  6. Love this post! I can do plank alright, but side plank?! Forget about it! I feel like my arm is going to snap!

  7. I am trying planks for the first time today. Thanks for the tips!

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