Plank: the proper technique

proper plank techniquePlank is an amazing posture to work on when developing your core… if done correctly!

Follow our key tips to ensure you are getting the FULL benefits:

Make the plank:

  • Neutral spine is most important!
  • Keep a straight line from your toes, through your hips, to your ears.

Avoid the “Teepee” (butt in the air):

  • Avoid the hip hike
  • Try not to rest your weight into the toes by lifting your hips.
  • Hiking the bum up puts more stress on the shoulders, and leaves less work for the core.
  • Think: work the gluts and activate the legs
  • TIP: keep the hips low until you feel your core activating. You are in a true plank, when you can’t hold it any more!

Don’t look down!

  • Avoid excess strain on the neck and upper back muscles by “bobbing for apples”
  • Instead remember to keep a neutral spine (that includes your neck)
  • Keep your gaze long past the end of your mat
Activate the arms
  • Do not slouch through the shoulder blades.
  • Most beginners will rest their body weight and collapse at the shoulders.
  • Instead, focus on activating the palms evenly into the mat.

Brace yourself (because this is a challenge)

  • Think of the core as a 360° belt around your spine
  • “Brace” yourself as if you were preparing to be punched in the stomach
  • Activate the abdominals to truly work your plank to the core

Leg drive

  • Instead of just resting your toes on the mat, think about driving the balls of your feet downward to activate the quad muscles.

Stay in alignment

  • To protect your posture always think shoulders above wrists
  • Keep weight even from the feet to the hands

And don’t forget to BREATHE!

When done properly… this is an amazing core challenge! (And one of our favourites)

What are you activating in plank?


•The Front: Rectus Abdominis + Transverse abdominus (the stabilizer)
•The Sides: External Obliques, Internal Obliques
•The Back: Erector Spinae (Iliocostalis, Longissimus, Spinalis), Latissimus Dorsi, Multifidus, Interspinales
•The Pelvic Floor: levator ani, coccygeus