BREAKING DOWN THE POSITION
The plank is an exercise done to strengthen the abdominal muscles. You can do it anywhere, and don't need any special equipment, nor anyone to spot you. That said, we don't recommend breaking out your plank in the middle of the street. That would be a bit weird, don't you think?
The exercise consists in holding a static position for a certain amount of time. And that's it! Just hold. Even as you break a sweat, start shaking, turn red and start listing all the types of birds you know until the time's up. You should set up on your forearms, legs straight, balanced on your toes.
But take note! You need to watch your form. The biggest pitfall is having your bum too high. If your body looks like an inverted V instead of a straight board, you're doing it wrong. But we get it - it's much easier that way.
Once you're in the right position, you need to engage your abs. They'll actually do this automatically. To make this exercise more effective, you should also contract your thigh and glute muscles. Doing this means your lower body has to work along with your upper body, which is the focal point of the exercise. If you've never really done planks before, you can start with a modified version. Instead of coming up on your toes, you can stay on your knees and raise your calves.
For the plank to be effective, it's important to use the right technique. It's not easy, but you'll see results in record time. The reason the plank is such a good exercise comes down to the time-to-effects ratio. In other words, doing it right will give you visible results very quickly (two weeks, to be precise). When you're trying to get in shape, seeing the benefits of the work is what it's all about. Results are what keep you motivated to keep going and working harder.
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