Planks: The No Crunch, No Head Lifting Abs Exercise
Planks are Great for Women Over 50
Have you heard you have to hold a long-lever plank for 5 minutes in order to be “cool” or to achieve results? Are you reluctant to attempt this classic ab exercise because that goal seems out of reach? Good news! As few as 20 seconds doing planks with good form will strengthen your core and work your abs. As well, you don’t need to crunch, flex your neck, or lift up your head. Check out the benefit of dropping down after 20 seconds and restarting in this post we wrote on short duration planking: Interval Planks Will Activate Your Abs
Planks are accessible to nearly everyone, as many versions exist. If you are a beginner planker, start on your knees. If you want a bit more challenge, but are not yet ready for a parallel plank on your toes, place your feet wide apart. If you want a ton more ideas to improve your abs, then take advantage of the program we created specifically for baby boomers: The Ultimate Abs Workout Collection for Women Over 50.
What is Good Planking Form?
Good question. Even better answer is to keep reading as we offer bullets below and a video demo. AAAAaaand, pop over to our post that has another video going over dos and don’ts.
How to Do Planks: Beginner to Intermediate Video
If you’re considering adding planks to your fitness regimen, watch our video. You’ll see four different modifications, and instructions for good form.
As few as 20 seconds doing planks w/ good form will strengthen your core & work your abs Click To Tweet
Hot Tips from Certified Fitness Instructors (Yeah, that would be us) on How to Get the Most Out of Your Planks
- Rest on your elbows, not your hands, (unless you are taking photos of yourself in exotic places around the world)
- Place your elbows directly below your shoulders
- Keep your hands loose and relaxed; a correlation exists between clenched fists and breath-holding
- Try to keep your body in a straight line from head to knees or toes. If you need to bend, it’s less stressful on your lower back to have your hips slightly piked (lifted) than dropped
- Pull your navel towards your spine while keeping your spine long
- Breathe, people, breathe!
One caveat: We mention holding for 30 seconds in the video, but research also indicates you can hold for as little as 20, take a short break, then get back into plank position. Whether you choose 20 or 30 second intervals, stick with the plank position that gives you the best form.
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Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA