3 Secret Tips You Should Know Before Plank

Spine, Pilates, Posture, Blog, / By Koh Peh Chia

Plank is not a fresh new exercise nowaday. We can easily see it in Pilates, Yoga and even gym sessions. 

As a Rehab Pilates Instructor, I have been questioned more than a thousand times on the benefits of Plank. And some of my clients would love to do a couple minutes of plank to save their precious time from doing all long hour exercises. Unfortunately,  they sometimes end up with more suffering like neck strain or lower back pain.

So today we will be discussing 3 Secret Tips that you all should know before doing your plank. 

#1 Plank is A Good Core Exercise

A plank is a simple, but effective core exercise that helps you build stability and strength throughout your entire body. Fortunately, it also targets almost every group of muscles in our body, including abdominal,back, arms and gluteal muscles. It not only  improves our strength and posture, but also our ability to focus and concentrate, and even helps us breathe properly.


The plank is achievable in a number of different variations, but you can only get the effectiveness  from the plank exercise if you do it correctly. Generally, a plank will have you with your body perpendicular to the ground, stomach facing down, elevating your torso off the ground with either your elbows or hands. Otherwise, you may get injured with holding a poor plank position.

#2 Plank is Not Suitable For Everyone

Despite its benefits, plank is not suitable for everyone, especially for those with history of old injuries like lower back pain.

Plank is a very versatile exercise that targets a lot of the most important muscle groups in the body.  Thus, if you don’t have a near perfect pattern of position and strength in your deepest core, planking can put extra stress on the lumbar spine. This may cause more damage rather than improve its symptoms. Hence, it would be better to try out other core exercises to activate and strengthen the deep core muscles before giving plank a try.

Furthermore, those with existing conditions like slipped disc, shoulder pain, arthritis should skip the plank to avoid any injury in future.

#3 Plank Challenge – No Benefit For Body

A former US Marine has achieved the Guinness World Record for the longest plank ever, completing the challenge in eight hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds. It sounds amazing but it probably has no benefit for body.
A simple plank should be held for a maximum of 30 seconds to one minute at the most. It may seem exciting to push beyond this point but the result is stress and strain on the body. You may still be able to hold the plank but as soon as the back sags and the abdominals start to sink to the floor, you are no longer performing an effective exercise.
Plank is a strong exercise that I highly recommend anyone to use for core strength and posture. However, as with any exercise there are dos and don’ts that need to be aware of.  If you are not sure you are performing the move correctly, ask a professional at your local gym or join a Pilates class. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Also, check out our instagram page for more useful tips and videos.