The Plank: It Works IF You Work It


Posted by Coach Amanda Leibovitz

How often do you PLANK?! There is a REASON planks are cited as one of the BEST total-body exercises:

  • Simple, functional, and practical
  • Safely strengthens your core
  • Improves posture
  • Supports a healthy back (reduces pain)
  • Enhances overall movement and coordination


But while the exercise is simple, functional, and practical, it’s also easy to do incorrectly! If we’re going to make the time and effort to work a #plankbreak into our daily routine, we want to make sure we’re getting the maximum benefit, right?!

When doing a plank, you want to avoid holding your hips too high (like an A) or too low (like a V), as this lets your core “cheat” and also puts unnecessary strain on your shoulders and/or lower back.

Instead, make sure that your elbows (or wrists if in high plank) are beneath your shoulders and your body is in a STRAIGHT LINE from the base of your head through your hips and all the way to your ankles! And don’t forget to squeeze that tush!!

Lastly — choose QUALITY over quantity when starting off with this exercise and only hold it for as long as you can maintain good form! Whether you’re holding your plank for 60sec or breaking it up into 3x 20sec segments, a minute is a minute!!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to work in 2 minutes (total) of planking PER DAY for the next week!

Amanda Leibovitz is a USA Triathlon Level I Coach, USAT Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level III Coach, and Certified Mental Performance Consultant. She is a Senior Coach with Team MPI who works with a wide cross-section of athletes including age group athletes, amateur and elite paratriathletes, cyclists, and marathon swimmers on both physical and mental preparation. Coach Amanda is an IRONMAN finisher and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship qualifier. She can be reached at

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