Training for a Tough Mudder event can seem daunting. If you’re looking for a move to boost your all-over body strength then it doesn’t get much easier, cheaper or more simple than the humble plank. The simple exercise can be added to your home workouts as a key core strengthening exercise.
Great for building core strength and endurance planks are an old favourite but if your form isn’t right, you won’t be getting the benefits (and you could get hurt).
The four simple tips below will help you nail the position and posture of your plank to make sure you’re getting the right results.
How to Do The Perfect Plank
1. Alignment is Key
Once you’re lying on your front on the ground you need to make sure that you create a straight line all the way from your head to your heels.
That means keeping your bum down (one of the most common plank mistakes is a curved back) and your legs straight.
Make sure that you shoulders are directly above your elbows as you press your forearms into the ground.
2. Use Your Bum
As well as keeping it nicely tucked in your, your bum should also be engaged throughout the exercise.
A good trick is to imagine you have a coin between your cheeks, keep your glutes squeezed tight and you’ll find it easier to keep that nice straight line.
3. Breathe Deeply
With much of your body clenched tightly it can be easy to slip into shallow chest breathing as you fight to stay in plank position.
This definitely won’t help, instead try to breath deeply into your stomach and keep it calm and controlled. Hopefully you’ll focus so much on breathing you’ll forget the pain.
4. Engage Your Hands
You might see some people with their hands flat on the ground or clenched but separate – this is making planking more difficult
Try clasping your hands together, this will take pressure off your wrist joint and help spread the pressure evenly through out your body.