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Fitness » Planks For Beginners: Put Your Core Strength To The Test

Planks For Beginners: Put Your Core Strength To The Test

planks-for-beginners

Today, there are dozens of workouts that can help weight-watchers achieve their desired effect. Some exercises help train your back muscles, glutes, abs, and quads, and all of them are definitely effective. But did you know that there is one exercise that can help you train different muscle groups simultaneously?

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Planks workout for beginners will boost the work of your muscles as well as your physique. If you want to know more information about a super-exercise for a perfectly shaped body, this article is definitely for you. So, let’s get started! 

How to do Planks for Beginners?

Plank and its variations for beginners are a perfect option if you want to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Stronger abs will also significantly improve your posture and balance and will make your spine more stable.

There are two variations of a standard plank: high plank and forearm plank. Both of them are effective, and you can choose the one which you like the most.

To perform a high plank, start on all four. You should fully extend your arms and place your palms on the floor shoulder-width apart. Your knees should be above the mat, and your legs should be extended behind you. Now, your body forms one straight line; there shouldn’t be arching or sagging. Make sure your legs, glutes, arms, and core muscles are working. Look on the floor, keep your spine straight and your neck neutral. Then, hold the position for a necessary amount of time (1).

To perform a forearm plank, you should stick to the listed above instructions, but with one small adjustment. Your task is to place your forearms on the floor instead of your palms. Remember about the one-line-body rule and keep your core muscles, legs, and glutes tightened (4).

As you can see, these two basic planks will target your core muscles, arms, legs, and glutes. In this way, one simple exercise can help you get the body of your dream in a short period.

Read More: 14 Day Plank Challenge To Build A Killer Core And Lose Weight

planks workout for beginners
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Modified Planks for Beginners

You already know that there are hall-of-fame exercises – planks for beginners. They are a great choice when you don’t have much time for working out and want to have a toned body. But many exercisers have the same question – how to make planks more interesting for beginners? Read on to figure this out! 

  • Knee plank

This is a perfect option for beginners.

It will allow you to focus on proper technique and avoid common mistakes, such as sagging and arching of your back and hips. By performing this variation, you will also put less tension on your lower back. Basically, you should perform this type of planks the same way you perform a standard one, but you should stand on your knees instead of your feet. If you feel discomfort in your knees, you can rest them on a towel.

  • Side plank

Side plank for beginners is a great way to make your daily routine well-rounded. This is one of the most popular variations of a standard plank that will help you train your major muscle groups even more effectively. So, how to perform side planks for beginners?

This variation is a little bit more complicated and targets mostly your obliques. Lie down on your side, keeping your legs together. Then, lift your body off the mat, so that you stand on the side of your foot and your hand (or elbow). Remember to keep your feet stacked to each other. Make sure your body forms a straight line. Engage your core muscles and hold the position.  

modified planks for beginners
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  • Single-arm plank

The last variation is more challenging than others, but when you get used to it, you’ll definitely love it. To perform this exercise, you should get into a standard high-plank position. Make sure your palms are right under your shoulders, and your feet are shoulder-width apart. While balancing on one hand, raise the other one to your hip. Get back to the starting position and perform this move for the other hand. Make sure you engage your lower body to perform the exercise properly.

Note that this variation is quite difficult to perform. You should try it only when you master all the simpler modifications. The best option will be to consult a physician before including it in your routine.    

How Long Should be Panks for Beginners?

If you are a beginner, you can start your workouts from 10 seconds and opt for simpler variations. You can also choose simplified modification and try to hold it as long as possible until you can keep your body in a proper position. Gradually increase the time of performance. For instance, you can add 10 seconds every week. Some experts consider that a 10-30 seconds set will be enough (5). It is also okay to perform several sets and smaller amounts of time.

When you master one variation, you can increase the load and choose more challenging types of planks. When you boost your fitness level, you can combine different variations of this exercise. For instance, you can perform 30 seconds of single-arm plank, 30 seconds of standard high plank, 30 seconds of side plank, or add any other modifications. This way, you’ll engage more muscle groups and train your entire body.

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exercise planks for beginners
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Planks for Beginners: Benefits

Like any other physical exercise, planks have a bunch of benefits for your body. All the listed benefits below contribute to your overall health and help your body function properly (1, 2, 6):

  • Improved coordination and balance of your body
  • Improved posture
  • Improved performance of other types of exercises
  • Stronger back hence lowered risks of back injuries
  • Stronger core muscles
  • Better metabolism
  • Better flexibility

FAQs

What are planks for beginner seniors?

As a rule, seniors who want to start working out have weak core muscles. It is also a little difficult for them to get up and down off the floor. That’s why they should start performing planks carefully and gradually.

planks for beginners
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To avoid injuries and level up your performance, you can opt for several variations. They are much simpler and will help prepare your body for a more serious physical load.

For instance, you can try to perform a wall plank. The rules are the same, but you should place your arms on the wall. After you master your skill in this exercise, you can use a kitchen counter instead of the wall. Then, you can try using a coach or a chair. This variation is more challenging than the two previous ones but still easier than a standard plank. You can choose it if you can easily get off the floor.  

These three variations are suitable not only for seniors but also for all beginners, obese people, and people with some medical conditions.

How many planks a day are ideal for beginners?

Basically, it is up to you. You can perform this exercise every day, every other day, or make it an integral part of your routine (5). It also depends on your daily physical activity level and overall fitness level. Practicing 2-3 times a week and adding 5-10 seconds each week is also possible.

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Conclusion

As you can see, if you want to have a trained body, it isn’t necessary to spend hours at the gym. Planks for beginners will become a perfect way to improve your strength and lose weight despite your fitness level. Of course, you should perform this exercise regularly and combine it with other types of workouts. You shouldn’t forget about healthy eating patterns and sleep. This will help you keep fit, support your overall health, protect you from diseases, and prevent weight gain (3, 7). It will also be a great idea to talk to your fitness instructor so that you stick to proper technique and avoid injuries. Remember that your major priority is your well-being, so take care of yourself.

Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. 5-Minute Daily Plank Workout (2020, verywellfit.com)
  2. Benefits Of Planks: 7 Reasons Why You Must Practice Planks Everyday (2019, doctor.ndtv.com)
  3. Healthy diet (n.d., who.int)
  4. How to Do a Plank (2020, verywellfit.com)
  5. Straight talk on planking (2019, health.harvard.edu)
  6. Tips to improve posture (2019, medaiclnewstoday.com)
  7. Why sleep is essential for health (2019, medaiclnewstoday.com)
Lana Woods

Lana Woods

Lana is an excellent writer driven largely by questions of health and mental well-being. She specializes in writing articles on both nutrition and exercise. Nothing brings her as much pleasure as helping others get their health back on track. In her works, she provides informative tips on how you can change your lifestyle for the better, develop healthy eating habits, and improve your well-being with the help of workouts. Besides, in recent years she became more interested in studying weight management, gearing her focus towards healthy weight loss approaches.

Inga Grebeniuk-Gillyer

Inga Grebeniuk-Gillyer

Hey there! I'm a European Champion in synchronized swimming who holds a Bachelor degree in Physical Education. I have experience in working with Olympic level athletes, produced National Champions, State Champions and helped athletes secure their spots on the National teams.
I don't just want to work with professional athletes. I strongly believe that my purpose is to help anybody I work with to achieve their fitness goals and become their best self.

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