Planking is an insanely popular core strengthening exercise. Regardless of whether you’re planking for fitness or fun, our friends at fitness centre Croyez Studio share three common mistakes people make.
1. Dropping or craning your neck and head
Think of your head and neck as an extension of your back. You want to keep it straight – after all, planks are straight pieces of timber.
Your eyes should be looking at the ground, pointed at the floor about a foot in front of your hands.
By keeping your neck in a neutral position, you will reduce the risk of straining your neck muscles.
2. Forgetting to breathe
It may sound silly but it's actually common when planking. Due to the exponential rise in difficulty maintaining a perfect plank position over time, you can actually forget to breathe once you start feeling the intense burn in your core.
Since your muscles require sufficient oxygen to work, breathing is important for planking. In addition, forgetting to breathe can cause dizziness, nausea and tension in the neck.
To achieve proper breathing, take slow, controlled and deep breaths. This will make planking a little more bearable and will help you keep the pose longer!
3. Ignoring your glutes
Don’t neglect your heinie! Instead of pushing your butt up in the air, keep your entire body as straight as a plank. Squeezing your glutes and keeping tension in your abs helps to keep your hips up, and you’ll end up staying in the position longer.
Training your glutes also prevents excessive arching of your lower back, which makes for bad posture.