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5 Plank Mistakes You Should Completely Avoid

5 plank mistakes

There is more to holding a plank than simply pushing up and down. Most people make these 5 plank mistakes that renders the whole exercise ineffective and unrewarding.

One of the core goals of every workout enthusiast is to hold a plank for longer minutes or duration. Holding a crazy-long plank or practicing the move for 20 seconds at a time may be pointless if you’re not doing it properly.

This article discusses 5 plank mistakes you should avoid so that you can record the result required through planking.

So, regardless of how long you can hold a plank, you need to brace up on the proper plank form and endeavor to completely avoid these 5 plank mistakes.

How  Is a Forearm Plank Done?

  1. Start your plank by laying face down on the floor or mat, with your forearms on the ground and your elbows directly beneath your shoulders.
  2. Then extend your legs straight behind you, with your toes tucked.
  3. With your core braced, press into your toes and forearms and raise your body up off the ground.
  4. Keep your back flat and body in a straight line from head to hips to heels.

What are the Most Common Plank Mistakes?

The common plank mistakes are:

#1. Arching Your Back while planking

#2. Looking Up as you plank

#3. Hiking or Sagging the Hips

#4. Hunching Your Shoulders

#5. Planking for Too Long

#1. Arching Your Back While Planking

The first mistake in my list of 5 plank mistakes to avoid is arching your lower back.

According to April Whitney, CSCS, “one of the commonest mistakes made during planking is arching your lower back. As your core starts to fatigue, it’s common to let your midsection sag toward the ground, causing your back to fall out of alignment.”

Explaining further, Whitney observed that although this error doesn’t always cause immediate injury, it does cause stress on the lower back. This stress, according to Whitney, over time, progresses to lower back pain or sensitivity.

When you make this mistake, you suffer some deprivations. U mean deprive yourself of the core-strengthening benefits which you ideally should have benefited out of the exercise. This is so because your abdominal are no longer working to hold your body up, ultimately stalling your progress.

READ ALSO: How Much Water You Should Drink a Day

How to Fix This Plank Mistake?

To avoid this common mistake while planking, simply tuck your pelvis under to keep your back straight. You should also think about drawing the belly button into the spine and tilting the hips up toward your chest to prevent the lower back from drooping.

#2. Looking Up

Number two on my list of 5 plank mistakes you should avoid is the habit of looking up during your plank.

According to Whitney, although looking up at a mirror or clock during your plank may aid you check your form or stay on track, but it can also wreak havoc on your form.

The key secret to perfect planking is keeping your entire body in a straight line from head to hips to heels.

You certainly wouldn’t want to get out of alignment because you are too distracted with the habit of glancing at a clock or mirror on the wall during your plank.

What is more? Holding your head in this position (that is looking up during your plank) for even a few planks overtime can lead to soreness in your neck and tightness in your upper back muscles.

READ ALSO: At-Home Workout Guide With No Equipment – Simple and Fun

How to Fix This Plank Mistake?

To remove this mistake from your list of 5 plank mistake you commit, you have to keep your neck long and your eyes on facing your hands (in forearm plank) or straight down in front of you (in high plank).

Doing this can help prevent your neck from craning and trap muscles from bunching up.

#3. Hiking or Sagging the Hips

One of the many things we do during a plank without even realizing it is sagging the hips.

Usually, about 45 seconds into a minute-long plank, you may be tempted to hike the hips to the ceiling or sag them toward the ground. In most cases, you do this to give your abs a break. This is a mistake you should endeavor to avoid it.

Whitney says that:

“…hiking the hips up to the ceiling is going to take the emphasis off your core and load it more onto your shoulders, making it a different exercise. To get the most out of a plank for your core, you’ll want to keep your hips in a straight line with your body, with the pelvis tucked under.”

How to Fix This Plank Mistake

The best way to remove this plank mistake from our list of 5 plank mistakes you should avoid is by always remembering during a plank that the plank is a full-body exercise — that includes your legs and glutes. To keep your hips from hiking toward the ceiling or sagging toward the ground, contract your quads and squeeze your glutes. This will help level your hips and engage your core.

#4. Hunching Your Shoulders

Hunching your shoulders is the fourth in the list of 5 plank mistakes you should avoid.

Usually, you would notice that during a plank, as your plank holds get longer and your body begins to shake, your breath grows uneven. At this point, you have to check your form, because, chances are that your shoulders are hunched up around your ears?

If this is the case, you’re indeed making the plank mistake of hunching your shoulders. Bending or Huddling your shoulders up can make your upper back muscles tight and cause your neck to strain against the tension. Plus, hunched up shoulders makes it more difficult to maintain an even breathing pattern, which is necessary for any exercise.

How to Fix This Plank Mistake?

To fix this plank mistake, ensure you keep your shoulders down and back during a plank. As your breath becomes more labored, do a quick scan of your body and check that your shoulders are in the right place.

#5. Planking For Too Long

Like I stated earlier, there is more to holding a plank. Although it’s amazing holding a plank for a long time. However, it may be a plank mistake to attempt to hold a plank way beyond your endurance level.

When it comes to proper plank practice, holding a plank for a long stretch of time is not the goal. This is according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Holding a plank for minutes on end inevitably leads to fatigue and is sure to cause a breakdown of form. And performing any exercise with bad form is pointless.

If you can actually hold a plank for several minutes at a time with good form, the exercise is probably too easy for you.

How to Fix This Plank Mistake?

Although Planks are a resourceful and fundamental move that can help you develop beginner-level core stability, according to the ACE, they can also keep your muscles in a contracted position and actually cause you to burn fewer calories than movement-based exercises.

It is advised that instead of holding your planks for several minutes at a time, you should move on to more challenging core exercises. You may also see our workout guide, and be assured you will find it resourceful.

SUMMARY

Common plank mistakes are

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