Increasing core strength: Benefits of holding a plank and how to do it

Holding a plank can be a gift to your core strength (Image via Pexels/Li Sun)
Holding a plank can be a gift to your core strength (Image via Pexels/Li Sun)

Holding a plank works! It is not a common fitness belief but has been scientifically proven by years of study. The Pennsylvania State University states that holding a plank is more beneficial for the core than doing traditional crunches. Besides improving your core strength, it is an excellent way to loose weight.

The time of holding a plank probably feel like the longest minutes of your life, but after you have sweated, growled, and collapsed on the ground, you would feel, that it is worth it.

So in this article, we will tell you all about the health benefits of holding a plank, and how to do it most appropriately, to get the most benefits.


What does holding a plank do?

Maintaining a perfect plank takes practice (Image via Pexels/Miriam Alonso)
Maintaining a perfect plank takes practice (Image via Pexels/Miriam Alonso)

Our core is one of the most essential parts of our body, and holding a plank hits the abdominal muscles, back, hips, pelvis, and glutes. A strong core strengthens the spine which in turn gives a strong definition to our entire frame.

However, having a weak core can lead to a hump, poor posture, which can lead to shoulder and back pain. Hence, it becomes necessary to work on your core, and holding a plank is one of the best ways, to develop overall strength.

Holding a plank involves holding yourself in the push-up position while resting your forearms on the ground. This is an excellent way to strengthen the core muscles, which can significantly increase your weight-lifting game.

A good core can improve your ability to do everyday work such as lifting heavy things from the floor, without having any stomach cramps.


How long should you hold a plank?

A perfect plank position is very crucial (Image via Pexels/ Monstera Production)
A perfect plank position is very crucial (Image via Pexels/ Monstera Production)

The appropriation of holding a plank is more important than the time to hold it. Though the world record for holding a plank is more than four hours, this is not at all recommended. Rather than helping, it will cause extreme stress to the body that can result in negative side effects.

Health experts recommend that for an average person, holding a plank anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds is plenty. It is recommended to start slowly with multiple sets of small amounts of time in the beginning, and slowly increase the duration of time as you progress.


How to do a plank properly?

Holding a plank is very effective in shredding belly fat (Image via Pexels/Miriam Alonso)
Holding a plank is very effective in shredding belly fat (Image via Pexels/Miriam Alonso)

The toughest part about doing a plank is to maintain proper posture, which can be a little difficult in the beginning. The better the posture is, the more effective the plank will be. To do a plank properly:

  1. Just like doing pushups, first lie down on your face and forearms facing the floor, with your legs stretched and feet together. You can use a yoga mat to make it a bit more comfortable.
  2. Now slowly raise your body with the support of your forearms and try to form a straight line, starting from the head, neck and then feet, without letting your hips band.
  3. Fix your eyes down, and try to hold in this position focusing on your abdominal muscles. Breathe slowly, and try to maintain this position for 10-30 seconds. Then lower your body and relax. This ends a set, and try to do 2 to 3 more sets in the same way.

Starting with a plank can be a bit difficult and exhausting but as you continue it will get easier. If it feels difficult to hold on with your forearms, then you can always start with the push-up position, and then eventually move into it.

Just remember, consistency is the most important thing, as you progress the position will naturally get perfect.


Holding a plank is not just a way to improve core strength, but also an excellent way to burn belly fat, which is the hardest to get rid of. This high-intensity exercise, though feels a bit difficult, can give you significant health benefits.

If you are too looking for ways to reduce belly fat, while also increasing strength, then incorporating planks in your fitness routine can completely change your fitness game.