The plank is a great core exercise that also engages various other muscle groups. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform a plank:

Video Instructions on How to Do a Plank

Muscles worked: Core muscles, shoulders, arms, back, and legs.


  1. Starting Position:
    • Begin by getting into a push-up position. Place your hands directly under your shoulders.
    • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core muscles.
  2. Hand Placement:
    • Spread your fingers for a strong grip.
    • Your hands can be in fists or flat on the ground, whichever is more comfortable for you.
  3. Elbow Position (Optional):
    • If you prefer a forearm plank, you can lower yourself onto your forearms with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders.
  4. Body Alignment:
    • Maintain a neutral spine; don’t let your hips sag or lift too high.
    • Keep your head in a neutral position, looking down at the floor.
  5. Legs and Feet:
    • Your feet should be hip-width apart.
    • Squeeze your glutes and quads to keep your legs engaged.
  6. Breathing:
    • Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the exercise. Avoid holding your breath.
  7. Hold the Position:
    • Hold the plank position for as long as you can maintain proper form. Beginners may start with 20-30 seconds and gradually increase the duration.
  8. Form Check:
    • Periodically check your form. Ensure your body remains in a straight line, and your core is engaged.
  9. Modification:
    • If you find a full plank challenging, you can start with a modified plank by resting on your knees instead of your toes.
  10. Frequency:
    • Aim for 2-3 sets, gradually increasing the time as your strength improves.


  • Focus on contracting your abdominal muscles to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • It’s better to maintain proper form for a shorter duration than to compromise form for a longer time.
  • If you experience wrist pain, you can use push-up handles or perform the plank on your forearms.

Remember to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider if you have any pre-existing conditions or concerns about whether this exercise is suitable for you.