When it comes to strengthening your core, everyone will tell you that the plank is the way to go. And they’d be right. But, then comes the question of how long you should hold the pose, ideally not a second longer than you absolutely have to. Well, fortunately for you, experts now have the answer!
How to Do a Proper Plank
Before you grab a timer to time your plank, you need to make sure you’re doing the exercise properly. Put on comfy clothes and place your hands and knees on the floor. Then, place your hands right under your shoulders and step your feet back. If you are a newbie, it’s best to keep your feet wider for more stability, and if you’re more experienced, try keeping your feet closer together to create a bigger challenge. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from your heels to the top of your head, looking down at the floor. Now, the plank begins. You will feel your abs, quads, and glutes tightening, and it’s time to take a deep breath and hold.
The Perfect Time to Hold a Plank
If you’re looking for a straight answer, you’d be disappointed. Experts say that it’s best to plank daily for anywhere between ten seconds to a minute. The right amount of time for each person depends on their overall physical condition and preparation. The key isn’t to aim for time length but to ensure that you’re holding the plank correctly, even if it’s only for 15 seconds.
Many professional trainers suggest aiming for three series of planks, each lasting 20 seconds. Those who are just starting out should start small and gradually increase the time they’re able to hold the pose. You can, for example, aim for six series of ten seconds with ten seconds of rest in between to relax the muscles.
Why Planks Are So Important
The main benefit of planks is that they let you strengthen your core muscles. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), these include your back extensors, internal and external obliques, obliques, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and the multifidi. Keeping these strong is essential to helping the body function properly. According to experts, core strength provides balance and stability by also improving your overall strength, endurance, and vigor. So, even if you are not big on working out, doing a plank every day can go a long way to help you improve your overall health and well-being.