The basic plank is the easiest core exercise yet so many have not mastered the technique. Done correctly, it strengthens your core, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and shoulders. Get it wrong and it could cause other muscle imbalances that may be hurt your posture and performance.
So, how do you plank like a Jillian Michaels? The first thing to remember is you must be completely horizontal and hold the position for one minute. So no sagging or humped backs, no sticking out bottoms — it’s not the downward dog — and no drooping heads.
And although it may sound like a good idea to hold the plank for longer than a minute — never sacrifice quantity for quality. Holding the plank for longer than necessary could mean your spine is taking the brunt of the force and not your core.
This video shows you how to master the plank. Start by doing five sets of 30-seconds and build up to one minute with 60-second rests in between each hold. Squeeze your glutes during each rep and try to relax your facial and neck muscles.
Once you have mastered the basic plank, step up your workout with challenging moves. Raise your feet and arms, add weights, do a travelling plank or use a stability ball. Just remember, form before intensity.