The plank, unique bodyweight exercises difficulty rating for a one minute hold 5 out of 10
Average time taken to master, 1 month.
Although on first glance this looks like a simple exercise only suitable for beginners once you try to hold the position for one minute without sagging at the hips or lifting your bum in the air you will soon find that it is deceptively more difficult than it appears.
Because this is a static hold that builds core strength through isometric contraction it is a great exercise for developing the core muscles fast and as it also helps with the press up, full ab wheel rollout and the Lalanne push up I thoroughly recommend this as a great exercise that should be included in most workout routines.
To begin lie face down on the floor with your arms positioned so that your hands are in line with your forehead and your upper arms are directly under your shoulders. Your hands and forearms should be flat on the ground and your elbows should be bent at 90 degrees.
From there simply hold the position keeping your abs tight by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and making sure that your whole body is in perfect alignment at all times with no sagging of the hips.
Make sure you breathe throughout the exercise and if you purse the lips and breathe out slowly you will find that you can tense your abs even more.
Take it easy when you first try this exercise and build up to holding the position for a minute or longer in your own time.
See the hanging leg raise guide to compliment your plank training