Planks are all the rage in the fitness community and for good reasons.
Planking is an effective way to improve your posture, stabilize your spine while tightening your body’s natural corset.
You’ve probably seen your fair share of people in the gym trying it out. However, very few individuals actually know how to do it properly.
A big problem that many people have is that they aren’t able to activate the right muscles required to fully benefit from this exercise.
Fixing The Plank
To plank properly there are basically 6 body parts you need to pay attention to. Make sure to learn how to properly activate each muscle group in the order they are presented.
1. Your Core
This is the most important muscle group you’ll want to activate while planking. To do this, simply imagine yourself pulling your belly button to your back.
If you have a hard time activating your core, practice this vacuum exercise. It will help strengthen your mind-muscle connection.
2. Your Quads
If you don’t activate your quads during your plank, you’ll have trouble keeping your legs straight. So make sure that the muscles in your quads are firing when you start the exercise.
3. Your Glutes
You probably didn’t know this but your glutes need to be engaged as well. The glutes help set your pelvis and prevent both spinal damage and pain.
If you don’t know how to activate your glutes while planking, simply practice in a standing position.
4. Your Lats
This makes planking a lot harder but is needed to make the exercise effective.
To do this, try to imagine that you are dragging your elbows towards your feet. Use just enough force so that you can feel tension building in your armpit muscles.
5. Your Pecs
Lastly, in order to prevent a rounded back when planking, you should activate your pecs.
One way to activate your pecs is to imagine that you are trying to squeeze your elbows towards each other. When you do this right, you will feel tension building in your chest muscles.
6. Your Feet
For this body part, simply drive your heels backward. Imagine that you’re lifting your toes towards your knees.
Practice Against a Wall
Before you do try doing a regular plank on the floor you should practice this exercise while standing and facing the wall. Start with 10 seconds per set and move your way up.
Once you can activate all your muscles comfortably for 20 seconds, you can go back to doing regular planks. You will notice a huge difference.