Plank is a simple but effective abdominal exercise that works the whole body with your own body weight. Holding the body in a static way, as if it were to perform push-ups, provides the opportunity to develop strength mainly in the belly of the muscles that support the body, the upper and lower abdominals, as well as the shoulders, arms and buttocks.

Benefits of exercising plank

The plank is beneficial to tone the muscles in the abdomen area mainly , depending on the variety of the plank routine that we practice, it also helps to burn localized fat and promote a flat stomach, in turn that due to the intensity of the exercise results very effective for marking the abs and tones the rest of the muscles involved, such as the upper and lower abdomen and obliques, among other muscles of the arms and legs.

The plank or static exercise of the body, keeps you in the same position during the entire exercise and does not require any equipment and can be performed anywhere . Finding a way to perfect the most comfortable position to do the plank will make a difference so that you can practice it more assiduously.

Normal Plank exercise

1. Plant your hands directly below your shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width apart) as if you were about to do a push-up.

2. Put your toes on the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. Your legs should be working on the movement as well; Be careful not to bend your knees.

3. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a point on the floor beyond the hands. Your head should be in a straight line with your back.

4. Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you become more comfortable with the plank, hold this position for as long as possible without compromising your exercise posture or breathing.

The forearm plank

This variation is also one of the most common ways to do the plank , it is a little easier than the previous exercise, where the body must be supported only with the hands. To perform this plank, place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned under your shoulders and your arms parallel to your body, respecting shoulder width apart. If your wrists feel uncomfortable, you can clasp your hands.

Plank on your knees

This plank exercise is noticeably easier to hold than the traditional straight-armed plank , making it ideal for beginners or newcomers to plank, allowing you to focus on form. By resting your knees on the floor, there is less stress on your lower back. Rest your knees on a rolled up mat or towel if they feel uncomfortable on the floor.

Plank lateral

This variation of the plank engages the obliques, or lateral abdominal muscles, better than the normal plank. Lie on one side with your legs stacked on top of each other, then point your body upward with your hand, keeping your feet stacked. Modify the position by raising the opposite arm or leg (or both) in the air to make the plank more difficult, or make the movement easier by crossing the upper leg in front of the body for additional support.

One leg plank

By removing a point of contact from the ground (the leg), this variation of the plank increases the demand on the abdomen. Place your body in the same normal plank position, then lift one leg toward the ceiling (until comfortable, without compromising your back). Keep your hips parallel to the ground, then alternate legs.

After these plank routines you will see results in terms of muscle toning in a few days.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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