Average plank time: Is holding a plank for a minute a good thing?

For many of us, abdominal training is very important. When it comes to choosing exercises for the abdominal muscles, people tend to do crunches. But there is another popular exercise to strengthen the abs. Planks ! The plank exercise works the abdominal muscles as well as the hips and back. Holding a push-up position while resting well on your forearms is called a plank pose. It sounds like an easy exercise, but it’s not. In fact, this is one of the exercises you can’t do for long. But if you want to reap the benefits, how long should you hold a plank?

What is the plank exercise?

A plank is an isometric exercise that primarily focuses on strengthening core muscles, says certified trainer Racit Dua. The core muscles include the rectus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, transverse abdominis, quadratus lumborum, and erector spinae group which keeps the spine vertical.

The plank exercise is good for the core muscles. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Average plank time

Well, there is no rule of thumb as such when it comes to duration. You can perform the set and try to do it until failure. Basically, you can continue the exercise until you’re able to maintain the neutral posture, Dua explains. Some find that 10 to 30 seconds of plank exercise is enough. But over time, you can extend your plank time by up to a minute.

This involves slowly increasing the frequency and duration of exercise. But always remember that a correct form should always be your top priority.

Benefits of Plank Exercise

A 2014 study published by ResearchGate found that regular core strengthening can be a factor in reducing chronic back pain. So, if you want to reduce back pain, you can do plank exercises.

Here are some benefits:

• People with lower back problems can also do planks. In fact, it will strengthen your lower back.
• Since this is a bodyweight exercise, it can be done anywhere, so you don’t need fancy equipment.
• You can strengthen many core muscles with this one exercise. In addition, certain lower body muscles also benefit from this isometric movement.
• Exercises like squatting and lifting weights can hurt you if you don’t have a strong core. So do more planks to prevent exercise-related injuries.
• A strong core also means less stress on the joints.
• With a strong core, you can also achieve better posture.

mat plank exercise
Know how long you need to hold a plank. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Tips for making a plank

The very basic plank is done by lying on the elbows, keeping the weight of the body on the toes while maintaining a stable and straight back structure, the expert explains to Health. Blows. Make sure to keep your elbows perpendicular to your shoulder. The idea is to keep your whole body in a neutral position, that is, the body should not bend.

There are also variants for making planks:

• Knee board, which relieves pressure on the lower back while giving you a great core workout.
• The side plank, which primarily targets your muscles on the sides of your torso and your hip abductors.
• Single Leg Plank, which is basically the single leg plank exercise.

Avoid the following mistakes when doing plank exercises:

1. Arch your back

If you arch your back, it means you’re putting more weight on your arms rather than engaging your abs.

2. Tilt your head up

Your head should not be tilted and your neck should be in line with your body. If your head is tilted, it can strain your neck.

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