How to do a plank correctly – and why to do it regularly
The plank is a fantastic exercise for developing core strength. For runners, this means improved posture as forces generated from the legs are then transferred through the whole body, explains explains Graeme Woodward, a UK Athletics Level 3 performance coach, UKSCA accredited S&C coach and We Run coach for West Yorkshire. ‘The plank benefits running economy and performance by increasing muscular capacity,’ he explains. ‘It also helps with lumbar and thoracic stability and is a key ingredient of many prehab and rehab programmes.’
There is some evidence that the front plank can irritate lumbar discs, so it does need to be incorporated gradually and on an individual basis, advises Woodward.
How to do a plank
- Lie face down on the floor, forearms on a mat, elbows under shoulders and your legs together, balancing on your toes.
- Brace your core and raise your hips so your body is in line.
- To make it more difficult, raise one foot off the floor.
Sets/reps: Hold for 30 secs, rest, repeat.