How many times have you heard that one of the best exercises to strengthen the muscles of the whole body, especially the core, are planks? Plus, it is a pretty basic exercise that requires no additional equipment, so they are very easy to incorporate into any workout and even do anywhere or at home.
However, it is also one of the most complicated isometric exercises if performed correctly, as you must use your muscles to statically hold a specific position.
How to plank correctly?
A push-up position must be maintained while resting on the forearms, the elbows must be on the floor directly below the shoulders with the feet hip-width apart. It is important that the back is flat and the head and neck are in a neutral position.
Also, bring your elbows towards the floor and squeeze your quads, glutes and core, while inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, without holding your breath.
How long should you hold a plank?
If you’re looking to break a record by holding a plank, George Hood, a former Chicago Marine, set the current record with a time of 08:15:15, but specialists recommend much shorter times.
Some experts suggest holding a plank for one minute, but for people with a history of back pain it is recommended to do it with 10 seconds of rest to reduce the risk of injury.
Therefore, at least for beginners, it is said that it is sufficient to hold the plank for 20 seconds, that is, to do more sets in less time.
Progressively you can increase the time you hold the plank until you reach one minute, even two, although experts point out that you do not get much more benefits after that time.