Y’all, planks are the shit. They’re so so so great for your core. They require no equipment, and can be done almost anywhere. To top it off, you don’t ever have to get bored with them because there are a million variations.
Despite being a simple exercise, most people actually do not plank correctly. Improper form is a problem because, at best, you are not toning the muscles you desire, and at worst, you could get hurt.
- The Arch: Many people arch their shoulders and upper back as this helps distribute weight to your arms. With this improper form, you’re not getting the workout you desire. Instead you’re allowing your shoulders and neck to hold the majority of your weight as opposed to your core.
- The Dip: Don’t let those hips sag! Tighten things up by squeezing your abs, glutes and hamstrings. This mishap could seriously injure your lower back.
- The Vanity Strain: You’d be surprised how many people I see at the gym holding plank while looking up at themselves in a mirror. If you need to check your form, steal a glance, but then put that head back down. Keep your gaze down at the ground, keep your neck and spine in a straight line. Correct neck alignment will prevent injury to your neck and shoulders.
- Hips in the Air like You Just Don’t Care: Just as you don’t want your hips to sag, it’s easy to get lazy and stick that booty up in the air. This, my friends, is not accomplishing anything except a weird hybrid of plank and down dog. No bueno.
Proper Form Checklist::
- Keep your whole body tight. Flex everything.
- Focus on pulling your shoulder blades together to prevent arching in your back.
- Tuck your booty, but don’t sag your hips.
- Suck in your stomach while you’re flexing.
- Play around with the distance between your feet. You may find positions that are more difficult than others.
- If you start shaking, you’re probably doing it right. Keep going. You rock!