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This is how long you need to hold a plank to strengthen your muscles

Published on:2 March 2021, 17:14pm IST
Planks can work on multiple areas and help strengthen the core but here’s how long you should hold your planks for the best results.
Aayushi Gupta
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Want to strengthen the core? Hold that plank! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Plank is, hands down, one of the most popular and effective isometric core strengthening exercises. We’d go as far as saying that no workout regime is complete without the plank. In fact, according to a 2015 study published in the Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research, plank workout is more effective than other core exercises since it targets multiple areas, including the abdomen, back, glutes, abs, spine, shoulder, and chest.

The thing is you’re probably already aware of how effective the plank is but most people want to know exactly how long to hold it for in order to see good results. Apart from the duration, people want to know if only one single plank is enough, or several sets should be performed to tone up the core.

In general, you should always hold your plank position till you can’t hold it. This doesn’t, however, mean you should try to set a new world record for the longest plank held. Listen to your body and build up the strength to hold your plank for a little longer each time you do it.

Basically, how long you should hold a plank for depends entirely on your actual strength. A study published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research suggests doing multiple 10-second planks. Holding one plank for too long can actually lead to injury. So, you can begin with multiple planks for shorter durations and hold the pose for 30 seconds or 1 minute. Keep the pose perfect instead of holding it for longer! 

So, how can you hold a plank perfectly? Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Get into the push-up position.

Step 2: Place your forearms on the ground. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Put your weight on the upper arms.

Step 3: Now, tighten your abs and glutes while keeping your torso straight. Look forward while you’re here.

Plank
Ladies, make the most out of those core-strengthening planks.

Step 4: Hold this position for 10 seconds if you’re just starting out. Keep adding more seconds to it every time you get into a plank.

Remember to breathe!

Here’s why you should definitely add the plank exercise to your daily workout routine:
  • It is the best core strengthening exercise. 
  • Your flexibility will improve.
  • It strengthens your spine, glutes, and abdominal muscles which significantly improve your posture.
  • It is a full-body exercise that works on building muscle.
  • Regular practice will improve balance.
You should, however, avoid making these common mistakes when it comes to doing a plank
  • Make sure your butt isn’t too high or too low. Your body should be straight.
  • Do not put all the pressure on your shoulders. Distribute the weight to your back as well.
  • Keep your elbows and shoulders in a straight line.
  • Don’t forget to breathe.

Planks are simple but effective. You will, however, need to do it in a way where it doesn’t cause injury.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.