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A Beginner's Guide to Planking: Learn How to Plank Longer and Strengthen Your Abs


The plank exercise is a great way to strengthen your core, your back, and your legs. As a beginner, you might not be able to hold a plank for very long, which is okay! We’ve answered your questions about the plank so you can set your own goals and work your way toward a stronger body.


How long should I hold the plank for best results?

  1. Aim for 10 to 30 seconds at a time. When you first start out, you might only be able to hold a plank for 5 to 10 seconds, and that’s okay! As you get stronger and your body gets used to the position, try holding it for longer and longer.[1]
  2. Hold a plank for 2 minutes maximum. Experts note that after 2 minutes, you’ve reached the maximum benefits that the plank can give you. If you can hold it for 2 minutes straight without wavering, you’re building muscles and burning calories to reach your fitness goals.[2]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 2.jpg

How do you do a plank correctly?

  1. Balance on your forearms and your toes with your body off the ground. Start by lying on your stomach with your forearms underneath you. Keep your elbows directly underneath your shoulders with your palms down. Engage your abs and your torso to rise up onto your toes, keeping your hips and stomach off the ground. Squeeze your legs and your glutes to keep your body in a straight line.[3]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 3.jpg
    • Holding the plank only works if you’re in the right formation. If you have to sway your back or raise your rear end to hold the plank, it’s time to drop down and take a rest.

How many reps of planks should I do?

  1. Try doing 1 to 6 reps every day. When you first start out, you may only be able to hold one plank a day, which is fine! As you build strength, you can work your way up to 2 planks, then 3, and so on.[4]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 4.jpg
    • If you can’t do all 6 planks in a row, that’s totally fine. It might be easier to space them out throughout the day.

Is holding a plank for 30 seconds good?

  1. Yes, especially for a beginner! Half a minute is a great amount of time to hold a plank, especially if you’ve never done it before. If you can’t reach 30 seconds right away, don’t sweat it—just keep trying until you can.[5]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 5.jpg

What happens if you do planks every day?

  1. You’ll strengthen your core. Planks are a great full body workout that target your abs and your core muscles. If you do planks every day, you’ll probably notice that your core muscles are stronger, which is great for balancing and holding your form during other exercises.[6]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 6.jpg
  2. You’ll also strengthen your legs. In the plank, your glutes, quads, and hamstrings are also getting a workout. Squeeze your legs tightly in the plank position to get the full effect of this exercise.[7]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 7.jpg

Does the plank get easier?

  1. Yes, the plank gets easier the more often you do it. When you first start out, you might feel shaky or weak as you hold the position. Keep squeezing your legs and your abs, and try to hold a plank for longer periods every time you do it.[8]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 8.jpg
    • If you’re struggling to hold the plank position, keep your arms in place but drop down to your knees. You’ll still work your abs and your core, but your legs won’t have to work quite as hard.[9]

Are planks cardio or strength exercises?

  1. Planks are mostly a strength-building exercise. Since you’re holding a static position and flexing your muscles the entire time, you’re working on building muscular strength. If you’d like to add some cardio to your plank exercises, try modifying them with hip touches or up and down planks.[10]
    How Long to Hold a Plank As a Beginner Step 9.jpg
    • Hip touches: Start in a standard plank with your body in a straight line. Slowly rotate your right hip down to the floor, raising your left hip in the air. Keep your body in a straight line as you gently touch your right hip on the ground. Then, rotate your left hip to the left side.[11]
    • Up and downs: Start in a standard plank position with your forearms on the floor. Press up with your right hand so you’re balancing with your right palm flat on the floor. Then, press up with your left hand so you have both palms flat on the floor. Quickly lower back down to your right forearm, then your left forearm. Keep your abs engaged and your body in a straight line the entire time.[12]


  • If you feel any pain in your lower back during a plank, squeeze your glutes to get your body back into a straight line.[13]


Source: Wiki How