Watch our video and discover how to do the perfect plank at home!
We caught up with fitness guru Scott Laidler who told us how to do the perfect plank.
Here’s Scott’s safe planking guide
- PROTECT YOUR BACK by keeping it straight, and engage your abdominals to take pressure away from your lower back.
- PLACE YOUR WEIGHT THROUGH YOUR SHOULDERS and ensure they’re in line with your elbow joints.
- STOP IF YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE and are putting your body under strain.
- GOOD ABDOMINAL-BOOSTING EXERCISES are lunges, reverse crunches and toe taps (lie on your back with your legs forming a right angle and slowly lower one foot to the ground and back up before switching legs.)
How to do the plank:
Place your knees and forearms on a mat on the floor, so you’re on all fours. Take your legs back so you’re suspended in the air, resting on your forearms and your toes. Ensure your body is completely straight and you’re contacting your abs throughout the exercise. Control your breathing – in through the nose, out through the mouth.
‘The plank is brilliant for developing strength and muscular endurance in your core,’ says trainer Scott Laidler, ‘but, as with all exercise, be wary of overexertion, keep your workout focused on your personal goals, and if you’re concerned about pre-existing injuries, seek expert advice.’
Laidler also advises you to practise lower strain exercises first, such as the superman (lie on your stomach and lift your arms and legs up away from the floor) to assess your core strength. Done the right way the plank can help you strengthen both your upper and lower body, and improve your posture and increase flexibility.