The plank is one of those moves that never fails us. Working the abs, arms, and back all at once, this move targets and tones the entire body. Before you tackle the various types of planks, here's how to do the basic version of this body-weight move.
How to Do a Basic Plank
- Start on all fours.
- With your palms flat, raise up off your knees onto your toes; your legs should be straight. Be sure to gently squeze your glutes to engage them, and keep your hands directly underneath your shoulders.
- Contract your abs to keep yourself up and prevent your bottom from sticking up. Remember to keep your belly button pulled in.
- With your head and spine in line, keep your back flat — don't let it curve. Look about one inch out in front of you and don't tuck your chin. Picture your body as a long, straight board.
- Hold as long as you can. Aim for 20 to 30 seconds in the beginning and work your way up to one minute as you get stronger.
- Lower down to rest, then repeat three times.
Once you master the basic plank, play around with all these variations that make the move more challenging and focus the work in different areas of your core.