Like most exercises, planks are 80% mental and 20% physical. First, the mental. You need to know that you have the strength to hold your body weight. Yes, you do. OK, imagine yourself holding a plank with ease. Now, follow the steps below to hold a plank for 30 seconds and we’ll take care of that 20% in three simple steps.
1. Get in Position
Lay on your belly with your elbows directly under your shoulders, palms flat on the floor, fingers spread. Contract your abdominal muscles as if you’re bracing for a punch to the gut. Tuck your toes and lift your hips off the floor.Tip: Be sure your body is in a straight line from your heals to the top of your head.
Look down at your left pinky and start counting. 1 – 2 – 3 (Slower) 4 – 5 – 6 – (Louder) 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 (Now the other way) 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 (You can do this) 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1.Counting your fingers keeps your neck in line with your spine, helps you deliver precious oxygen to your muscles, and keeps your focus on your beautiful hands and off the fact that you’re holding yourself up with your core, a.k.a. your Wall of Muscle.
Lower yourself back down to the floor. Take a deep breath and, as you exhale, lift your heart, drop your shoulders, and push your hips into the floor. Relax.
Repeat Steps 1-3, 3x.
Now that we’ve taken care of the 20%, you’re all set. Be willing, do planks three times a week, and you’ll be amazed how the impossible becomes possible.