How To Do A Perfect Plank - Benefits

How To Do A Perfect Plank - Benefits

Baansuri Dass 10 February, 2023 Updated on : 13 Mar 2023

If done right, the plank is one of the best exercises to strengthen core muscles and may even trounce the more popular crunch as the exercise of choice for well-toned abs and to improve your posture. A plank can be done anywhere, anytime, and is mostly easy to get right with nothing but your body and a flat, clean floor. The plank exercise is very versatile since it involves multiple muscle groups in the abdomen, shoulders, arms, glutes and back.

The trick to a great plank is to get into the correct plank position to activate all those muscles. And since no movement is required for this exercise, holding that position for as long as it’s comfortable is the key to a good plank workout.

Now let us get into the nitty-gritty and understand how to do a plank, keeping in mind the body position, alignment, and muscle activation. Now, besides the high plank performed on the hands, there are plank variations like the forearm plank and side plank. In this blog, we’ll focus on the high plank.

Getting Into the Right Plank Position

Since the plank involves both the upper and lower body, we’ll tell you how to get your upper body in place first, followed by your abdomen and legs.

Upper Body

  • The plank exercise is performed on all fours, so the first step is to get down on your knees and place your palms on the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Now lift your upper body by pressing on your palms. Your arms should be straight, with no bends at the elbows.   
  • Ensure that your shoulder blades are straight, not drooping towards the floor, and are as wide apart as possible.
  • Your head should be extended forward on your neck. Don’t let your head slouch down or stretch upwards. The best way to get your head in the correct stance is to use your eyes to look straight ahead at the floor, a foot above where your palms are resting.

Lower Body

Perfect plank for lower body

  • Now that your upper body is in position, extend your right leg back on your toes, followed by your left leg. Your toes should be flexed, and your body should now be fully suspended on your hands and toes.
  • Make sure your butt is not lifted or drooping into a curve. Your body should look like a straight line at an acute angle with the floor to someone looking from the side.
  • Hold for 20-60 seconds in the correct plank pose, or for as long as you feel comfortable. Lower your body down gently to rest, and repeat.

Aligning Your Body

Once you’re in position for a plank, ensure that your body is well-aligned and balanced to make the most of the exercise. A ball released from the back of your neck should roll down to your heels smoothly.

Engaging the Muscles

Getting into the correct position is only the first step towards a great plank. The next step is to engage your muscles. Here’s how to activate the right muscles in a plank.

  • The key is to tighten your abdomen to activate your core muscles. Think of this as bracing yourself for an incoming punch to the abdomen.
  • Next, engage your pelvic muscles as you would in a Kegel exercise. This can be done by replicating the same contraction as one would do when stopping the flow of urine.
  • To activate the muscles in your lower body, squeeze your butt muscles or glutes together.
  • In a plank, your leg muscles should also feel worked up. If you’re not feeling it happening, push back on your heels to stretch your leg muscles until you feel a bit of a burn.


Our body’s natural tendency is to stop breathing when we’re exerting ourselves. So, you must remember to keep breathing during a plank. A great tip for beginners is to time your plank on the number of breaths instead of seconds. For example, try holding your plank for five breaths before resting up.

Benefits of Plank Exercise

  • It’s excellent for good posture.
  • Strengthens core muscles.
  • Lowers back pain.
  • Improves body alignment.

Now that you know how to master the perfect plank, what are you waiting for? Get the FITPASS app on your smartphone and put your newly acquired knowledge to good use. You can download FITPASS from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and start practising your planks to burn more calories and attain a stronger core.

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