This exercise stabilizes the trunk and also trains stability in the shoulder blade. The plank does not build strength, but it develops endurance and stability, especially in the muscles in the lower back, abdomen, shoulders and hips. The goal is to hold the position for as long as possible. The current world record holder has managed to hold the sound position for more than an hour. This exercise is ideal for sports that require the body to remain stable or rigid, such as gymnastics or diving, or sports where body contact must be absorbed or countered. Use the plank at the beginning of shoulder rehabilitation programs and before a series of pushups.

How to do the plank

Lie on your stomach on the floor, elbows bent, hands clenched into fists just in front of shoulders, feet resting on toes. Push the whole body up so that it rests only on the forearms and toes. Keep eyes down, shoulders back, and make sure back is straight. The body should be flat from neck to heels. Hold the position for at least 15 seconds, but aim to hold it for longer and longer.

Do it well
Use a mirror for the first time, then you can check your position.

Keep the lower back straight. If you have weak abs, start with the light version and build up your stamina.

Variations of the plank

If you don’t have enough strength or stamina to hold the plank, keep your knees on the floor instead of leaning on your toes. Make sure the body is straight from head to knees.

Lift one foot off the ground for 5 counts at a time. This works the obliques and glutes as they prevent the body from twisting and keep the leg in the air. Or try the side plank: move from left to center and from center to right; hold each position for 30-60 counts.

Active muscles

  1. Rectus abdominis
  2. Obliquus internus abdominis (onder obliquus externen abdominis)
  3. Obliquus externus abdominis
actieve spieren van de plank