A Flat tummy and six-pack is the goal of a lot of people (men especially) and if you want to have one, then the plank should be your go to exercise move. If you have mastered the plank upgrades that can reshape your body, you are even a step ahead.
There however is one thing you should keep in mind. While the act of planking is pretty straightforward, the length of time you should actually hold one is probably not as clear as it should be. But you don’t even have to worry about that anymore.
To get the best out of your plank, holding three planks for up to 60 seconds each is the most ideal thing to do. If you are however new to planking, don’t risk injuring yourself all in the name of getting a slimmer waistline. You can start with shorter sets and work up to 60 seconds.
Forcing yourself to hold a plank for an excessive amount of time can put a lot of strain on your lower back. As fatigue sets in, the lower back may start to arch and that is when you put yourself at risk for injury.
If you find one minute too challenging, try holding a plank for 10 seconds, relaxing for five to 10 seconds, then re-engaging for 10 seconds. Repeat each set three to six times.
There is no need for you to worry about losing out on any gains in the meantime. Planking for shorter periods of time can still amount to a solid workout. You receive very similar strengthening benefits because you are engaging your muscles for the same amount of total time, same as if you just held the plank for 30 to 60 seconds without stopping.
On the other side, holding a plank for one minute might be quite easy for you. If that’s the case, experts recommend you increase the difficulty by contracting your abs, as well as squeezing your glutes and quads.
It is important to remember that form should always come before figure. Although planking can strengthen your entire body, you should only do it for as long as you can hold the correct position. Keeping perfect form is important and you should only continue with the plank as long as you can hold it.