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    Smile What's the right way to do planking.

    Planks also help you build endurance, since you try to hold the move for a certain amount of time (more on that later). You’ll also improve your posture, since you have to be very aware of your body’s positioning during the move. When you do a plank with proper form, you focus on keeping your shoulders down and back, Dorworth says.

    “It really works that mind-muscle connection to hold your body still in an isometric position,” she says.

    That all sounds pretty good, right? No argument here. In fact, because of how much it improves strength, stability, endurance, and posture, Dorworth considers the plank one of her top-five exercises overall.

    When people say “plank,” they generally are referring to the forearm plank, where your elbows and forearms are on the ground, rather than when your palms are on the ground (like in the start of a push-up). That’s referred to as a “high plank.”

    To make the most out of the forearm plank, it’s really important that you take the time to learn how to do a plank properly. This will ensure that you’re working the muscles you want to be working—again, your core muscles, shoulder stabilizers, glutes, and even your quads—and not overstressing other muscles, says Dorworth.

    First, on an exercise mat or yoga mat, position your elbows directly under your shoulders and rest your forearms on the ground. Many people keep their hands in fists, but some flatten them out on the ground—either way is fine. Then you’re going to pop up on your toes, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe, says Dorworth.

    Make sure you’re engaging your core—think of pulling your belly button up to the ceiling—firing your glutes and quads and focusing on keeping the weight distributed evenly throughout your body.

    Once you’re up, there are some important cues you should keep in mind: For one, you should keep your eyes down on the ground—look at a spot between your hands. This will stop you from cranking your neck up.

    “This means that your spine can remain in a neutral, normal alignment,” Dorworth says.

    Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades back and together (you want them to adduct, or come together toward the midline of your body, rather than abduct, or pull away). This will prevent your shoulders or upper back from rounding—one of the top plank mistakes Dorworth sees with clients. If you tend to do this, you may feel the plank more in your shoulders than spread evenly throughout your body.
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