The plank is one of the best exercises in the calisthenics category. It’s safe, builds strength and core muscles quickly, and can be performed anywhere (if you have a sturdy enough surface). And in this article, I will be teaching you how to perform a plank correctly and how to get the most out of it.
Planking is a term used to describe the act of laying in a plank position (on your stomach) for a specified period. It is a core exercise for many people, and a form of cardiovascular exercise that is often used to prepare for intense athletic activity. Planks are often used by military recruits for conditioning before they begin boot camp.
To plank, lie face down on the ground with hands spread wide and shoulder width apart. Engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine. Pull your belly button back toward your spine, keeping it in line. Keep your back flat on the ground, and keep your head neutral. Engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine. Inhale and raise yourself until your arms are straight while keeping your body in a straight line. Exhale and lower your body to the ground, letting your arms bend naturally.
How to Plank? (Detailed Guide)
The best way to plank is with an exercise ball. They make perfect contact with your body. You don’t want to use a foam roller as it is likely to slip and slide all over the place. A solid exercise ball allows you to plank effectively.
The most common mistake people make is trying to go straight up. As soon as you start, you’ll lose form. It’s better to start in a side plank position and then switch to a full plank.
You can also try holding your arms straight in front of you or behind you, but they need to be parallel. This position allows you to maintain your core strength and is ideal for adding resistance.
How to Plank Without Hurting Your Back?
Most of us have tried to hold a plank position for as long as we can, and most of us probably fail. The secret to a good plank lies in maintaining proper form and avoiding any strain on your back.
With your hands resting on the floor, your forearms should form an angle with your body at 90 degrees (like holding an umbrella).
Make sure your feet are hip-width apart, with the tips of your toes pointing outward. Your body should be straight, your chin tucked, and your abs pulled in tight.
Now that you have the basics down, you can begin building up strength and endurance.
Try increasing the hold time each time you do the exercise, aiming for one minute.
What are the Benefits of The Plank?
Planks are an essential part of any exercise routine. They help strengthen the core and prevent injury.
Planks are also a great way to add variety to your workout routine. In addition to strengthening the body, they also provide mental stimulation.
Some of the benefits of doing planks are:
1. Improve Your Posture
One of the most overlooked benefits of a planking workout is the effect it has on your posture.
By holding a plank pose for longer periods, you develop muscle memory for proper form.
With this muscle memory, you’ll be better equipped to hold any other poses (squats, pushups, etc.) correctly, which improves your overall fitness level.
2. Develop Balance and Stability
For Stronger, More Confident Performances.
Planking is an exercise where you lie face up on the floor with your arms straight above your head.
While it may seem simple, this movement provides several benefits. It allows you to develop balance and stability.
When performing planking, it’s common to feel as though your body is going to fall over.
This feeling is normal and you should never worry about falling, or even having your head touch the ground.
If you do feel any pain, or your balance begins to wobble, it’s okay to change positions until you can re-establish proper balance.
3. Improve Core Definition
The plank is an effective exercise for improving core strength and definition. In addition to a better core, the plank can help reduce back pain, improve posture, and even enhance athletic performance.
A traditional plank is held by lying on the stomach with the arms crossed over the chest. However, many variations allow you to change the position of your body to maximize your workout.
During a workout routine, a beginner’s best bet is to start with a simple variation of the plank. It’s a great starting point for people who haven’t done plank exercises before and it can help them build strength, flexibility, and core stability at the same time.
When you begin to add in additional exercises, you need to be careful that you don’t overdo it. Adding too many plank exercises at once can cause injury and prevent you from progressing, so make sure you stick to a few, high-quality exercises per day and slowly increase as you improve.
To maximize your calisthenics workouts, here are several plank variations you can perform every week to get better and increase your strength in the right direction.
Planks come in several different forms. They can be done on a wall, door frame, tree trunk, bench, step, or any other surface that is not moving. They can be done in a prone, supine, and side plank position.
The plank variations that are used in this article are the knee plank, side plank, weighted plank, wide leg plank, elbow, and high plank.
Plank Exercises for Beginners
1. Knee Plank
Why is the knee plank so effective? For starters, it requires only one arm for balance and is a great warm-up exercise before other exercises.
Additionally, you’ll be using your core, leg muscles, and balance. All of which are required for any kind of calisthenics exercise.
So how do you start knee planking?
- 1. Lie face down on the ground with arms at your side.
- 2. Raise your body off the ground by extending your legs so that your body forms a straight line from your hips to your feet.
- 3. Draw one knee in toward your chest while balancing on your elbows and hands.
- 4. Lift your hips off the ground and repeat this step, keeping your back flat and shoulder blades relaxed.
- 5. Once your body is fully stretched and you are feeling balanced, hold for 10-15 seconds, then lower your body back down to the ground and rest for 30-60 seconds.
2. Side Plank
The side plank is a simple exercise to get you used to how to use your core muscles to stabilize yourself.
- 1. Start in a pushup position (hands flat on the ground) with feet about shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
- 2. Place your right hand next to your left foot and lift it onto your left arm.
- 3. Keep the top of your body straight and your abs engaged to avoid the temptation to lean to one side.
Advanced Plank Exercises
1. Weighted Plank
A weighted plank is a normal plank but adding a dumbbell on your back while performing it.
Begin by standing on the floor, with the knees bent 90 degrees and hands on the floor by your sides.
In this position, straighten the left leg up, bending the right knee so that the toes of the right foot are pointing at the ceiling. Your hips should be level.
Now, push your body forward, straightening your arms and pushing back.
At the top, hold the plank position for 2 seconds, then lower your body back to the starting position.
2. Wide Leg Plank
To start, you’ll want to learn to properly execute the wide-leg plank exercise.
In a traditional wide-leg plank, you’ll lay on your stomach and extend your legs out so that you are resting on your elbows and forearms. Your feet should be aligned and you should be keeping your toes pointed toward the ceiling.
To perform the plank, you’ll need to hold yourself up on your elbows and forearms.
You can modify the position of your hands by starting with your elbows placed higher on the wall.
Once you have your elbows up high, place your hands back down onto the floor and begin your pushup.
As you complete each repetition of the exercise, you can increase the number of reps you perform, and also increase the duration you hold the position.
The first few sets should be performed at a relatively slow pace, and once you can hold the position for 30 seconds, increase your reps and the amount of time you spend holding the plank.
3. Elbow Plank
- 1. Start on your elbows. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
- 2. When you’re in this position, push off the floor with your elbows.
- 3. Your knees should bend slightly, and the backs of your hands should be flat on the floor.
You’ll feel the stretch along your shoulders and down your back.
4. High Plank
A High Plank is a great way to get a toned upper body!
- 1) Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- 2) Your knees should be bent at least 90 degrees.
- 3) Hold your weight on your forearms and lower body.
- 4) Pull your shoulders back and lift your chest upwards.
- 5) Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- 6) Keep your eyes on the sky.
- 7) Hold this position
Planks are arguably the best calisthenics exercise of all time. They’re easy to do, can be done anywhere at any time, and can be used for multiple purposes.
Whether you want to strengthen your back, increase your core strength, or improve your flexibility. Planks are the perfect exercise because they require no equipment and no fancy equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is planking good for calisthenics?
Yes, planking is a calisthenics exercise where a person lies face down on the ground and holds his/her hands under his/her body. Many planking videos have been released online, showing a variety of people performing the planking exercise. The main purpose is to create a sense of balance and stability while exercising.
How long should I do a plank for calisthenics?
Planking for 30-60 seconds every day can build your muscles and burn more calories.
What is the position of a plank in calisthenics?
In calisthenics, a plank is a prone position where the body is supported on the forearms and toes, or sometimes only on the forearms, and the torso is parallel to the floor. The head rests on the floor.
Are planks just as good as pushups?
Not exactly. They have their uses. But if you have the time, they’re a great way to get a different muscle group involved. Planks are a great core workout since your body is moving in all directions.