The plank exercise is a super powerful way to quickly build overall core strength. Many trainers and coaches use it as a quick and easy way to measure abdominal strength with their clients and athletes. The most common of the plank exercises – and the one you probably see the most of at the gym – is the front plank.
How to Do the Front Plank
Starting Position: Lie on your belly with arms bent, elbows tucked to your side. Your fingers should be pointed forward, with legs straight and extended. Your toes should be curled slightly forward towards your shins.
Lift & Hold: Lift your torso off of the ground by sucking in your belly button and contracting your glutes. Avoid creating an arc in your lower back – keeping your glutes squeezed will help combat the urge of gravity to pull your belly to the floor. Focus on maintaining a straight head-spine-line.
Resist the urge to roll your shoulders forward as you do this exercise – if you feel your shoulders begin to roll forward stick your chest out and try to tuck your shoulders down into your lats. Keep them square above your elbows, with your hands and palms either straight ahead, or with your hands clasped (like I tend to do).
Additionally, your head and neck should be relaxed and your gaze fixed on the floor.
Hold for as long as you can.
:30 seconds is great for a beginner, anything longer than a minute and you have entered certified badass territory.
Random Factoid: The Guinness world record for the longest front plank ever held was a whopping 3+ hours. It was done in April, 2013 by George Hood, who obviously didn’t have much else booked that day.