Plank: This is how effective the plank is

Planks are the best core exercise.

Photo: Getty Images | newstockimages

Extremely exhausting, but extremely effective! If you dream of a flat and well-trained core, you can’t avoid the plank. This is how you do the plank correctly.

The plank, also known as a forearm support, is considered the supreme discipline and mother of all core exercises for muscle building. Because with just a single simple fitness exercise, the torso, back, leg, hip, shoulder, chest and buttock muscles are strengthened at the same time. The lying and forearm support therefore uses the whole body, especially the abdominal area is trained isometrically (i.e. through static muscle tension), which makes the exercise the perfect full-body workout. Abdominal crunches can pack a punch!

And best of all: You don’t need any special sports equipment or a membership in the gym for planks – just 10-20 minutes and a little perseverance – then if you do it correctly, you will quickly see results. In addition, they can be carried out anywhere, be it in the hotel room or in the evening at home in front of the television. And it’s guaranteed not to get boring either, because there are numerous plank variants with which you can always set new stimuli. But let’s start at the beginning…

  • You start in the prone position. The forearms are placed parallel to the body.

  • Elbows at shoulder level, feet planted and body lifted.

  • Important: hips and shoulders must be at the same height.

  • Squeeze and tighten your stomach. Keyword “body tension”.

  • Avoid sagging and don’t get your butt up in the air too much – hold for 30-90 seconds!

The aim is to hold the position for as long as possible. If you don’t last a minute at the beginning, you can start with 30 seconds. It should still be 4-5 rounds with a 30-second break in between at the beginning. Increase slowly. It is best for beginners to start in front of a mirror to check their posture. If you still find it difficult, you can also do planks on your knees instead of on your feet – this makes it easier to do. A raised position for the arms can also be helpful at the beginning.

By the way: According to most experts, no one needs to work more than two minutes to sufficiently strengthen their core. Better to increase the number of sentences.

Maybe also interesting: Everything about losing weight on the stomach!

If you stick with it and plan regularly, you will quickly achieve success – not only on the body, but also persevering becomes easier from time to time. Then it is necessary to set new stimuli or increase the intensity. Versatile plank variants are suitable for this.

side plank

The lateral forearm support specifically targets the lateral abdominal and trunk muscles. The ideal fitness exercise for a beautiful, well-formed waist!

Start on your side, cross your legs on top of each other or cross your top over your bottom. Support yourself on your right forearm and lift your hips off the floor until your torso and legs are in line. Hold position for one minute. Then repeat to the other side. If you have problems at the beginning, you can put your lower knee down, this reduces the leverage and reduces the intensity.

Advanced users, on the other hand, can increase the level of difficulty if they dynamically raise and lower their hips. It gets even more difficult if you stretch out your upper leg straight – it also trains your balance!

Another variant of the side plank: incorporate rotational movement of the upper body. First stretch your arm up, then down through your waist – your gaze always follows your hand.

Plank with leg rotation

In the plank with leg rotation, one leg is lifted toward the ceiling. Bend the knee. Then bring the leg from top to bottom, knee first, to the opposite hand. Repeat for 30-90 seconds per side – depending on your level of training. Then switch legs.

Jumping Jack Plank

Start in forearm support. Place feet hip-width apart. Then jump your legs into a wide V and back again. Maintain a regular rhythm of 30-60 seconds. Promotes strength and endurance at the same time. If the jumps are too hard for you at the beginning, you can start slowly and put your feet out one at a time.

mountain climbers

Mountain climbers are a dynamic modification of the classic plank and also train endurance. You start from the classic plank position, but on your hands, not your forearms. Then the legs are tightened one after the other, similar to a jogging movement – just on the spot.

Important: Shoulders stay over hands, upper body forms a line. Beginners make the movement slower, advanced users step on the gas. Anyone who lasts 60 seconds is already in good shape. It is best to plan 3-5 passes. Take a 30-60 second break in between.

The Plank Challenge has been doing the rounds on the internet for a long time. Ultimately, it was not just about the physical challenge of who could hold out the plank the longest, but also about the mental challenge. A Chinese set the planking record in May 2016. He stayed in the plank position for an incredible eight hours and one minute. But don’t worry, nobody really has to wait that long to get in shape – the average is 1-3 minutes. So go ahead, happy planking!

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