Looking for a way to tighten up your core? Planks are a great ab exercise because they help to build strength and endurance all the way around your middle and in your back. That’s why taking the Plank A Day challenge can help reduce back pain and flatten your abs.
If you’ve noticed the popular #PlankADay hashtag on Twitter, here’s the deal: Sherry Pagoto hates doing ab exercises, but she wants to strengthen those muscles, so she decided to start doing a plank every day, with her friend Mike joining the challenge. It’s simple to join in yourself; just do one plank daily, aiming to hold it for a minute, and then tweet it out using the #PlankADay hashtag. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can do a 12-hour Plank An Hour challenge.
So how do you do a proper plank? Here are the steps:
1. Prop yourself on your toes and forearms, facing the floor.
2. Draw your belly button into your spine and keep your body in a straight line — you don’t want your back arching upward or downward.
3. Hold the position as long as you can with good form, aiming for 30 seconds to a minute. Remember to breathe!
If you can’t do a full plank yet, try this modified version to start. Repeat every day and soon you’ll be able to hold the plank longer, and notice the difference in your core strength.