This craziness is the latest phenomena to grip the online world. The concept is quite simple, lie facedown with your arms to the side of your body – but, oh – it has to be somewhere, unusual, public and somewhat dangerous. Your “plank” must then be followed by a series of photographs of the actual “plank” posted on a social media site for other “Plankers” to see. The concept is also referred to as “the lying down game” in Europe and Japan, and “playing dead” in Korea, or “a plat ventre” (On one’s belly) in France. Social networks, especially Facebook, have been the main channel of the planking craze. The most popular planking platform is Planking Australia with more than 154 000 fans.
How to Do Plank Exercises
Plank exercises are one of the best moves to strengthen your core, which comprises not only your abdominal muscles, but also the muscles of the back, hips, and pelvic floor. Strengthening these muscles won't give you six pack abs, but will give you stability in your trunk and spine, helping to prevent many injuries and giving you better posture overall.
Start by lying face down on a mat. Place your forearms on the mat with your shoulders aligned directly over your elbows. Clasp your hands in front of you.
Extend your legs behind you and rest on your toes, as if you are going to do a pushup. Your hips should not be lifted to the ceiling, nor should your back be arched. You should look to attain a straight line between your shoulders and toes.
Tighten your abdominal muscles to help you hold the position correctly, and hold it as long as you can. When you begin to feel your lower back start to sag from fatigue, take a break, then get back into the proper position and hold the move once again.
Breathe evenly throughout the move. It's an easy mistake to try and hold your breath during the exertion, but it'll actually be easier if you focus on breathing evenly. Doing so sends vital oxygen to your muscles and helps them stay strong longer.
Feel your abdominal muscles working and getting fatigued as you hold the position. Challenge yourself to hold the position a little longer with each workout, and work toward holding it for 60 to 90 seconds at a time.
Make the move more challenging as you gain strength by lifting one leg at a time behind you. Inhale as you lift the leg, and exhale as you lower.