The Basic Plank

This is my favourite exercise for building core strength.

A plank, completed correctly, is more effective than sit-ups and crunches for tightening the deepest core muscles. The core is made up of all the muscles that connect the upper and lower body, including those of the stomach, lower back, hips and buttocks. We need these muscles working effectively in order to support the spine, ensure good posture and control our  movement. Strengthening the core muscles will not only give you a flatter stomach but will also improve the effectiveness of any exercise you do. The longer you can hold a plank, the stronger your core will become and the quicker you’ll see the results of all your efforts.



1. Start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Your elbows must be placed directly beneath your shoulders – joints in a line.


2. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart.


3. Face the floor, being careful not to arch your back or stick your bottom in the air. KEEP YOUR ABS CONTRACTED & PELVIS TILTED FOR THE DURATION OF THIS EXERCISE. To tilt your pelvis, imagine your tailbone pointing to the floor rather than the wall behind you.


4. Hold this position for 30 seconds to begin with, extending the time as you get stronger.

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