How to do planks for weight loss: tips and tricks for beginners

If you want to pump up the press, strengthen the main muscles of the core, tighten the stomach, make it flat, strengthen the shoulder and gluteal muscles, the plank will help you.

Is it hard to believe that doing one exercise daily can improve your strength, figure, mood, and more? But it's true! This pose has many positive effects on your body. While it may not be the easiest exercise to do, doing it regularly will give you lifelong benefits.

In yoga, the plank pose or Phalakasana is a pose for developing strength, as it tenses all the large muscles of the torso, as well as the shoulders, strengthens the neck, back muscles, buttocks and quadriceps and abdominals. The plank is also known as the isometric stance. It contracts the muscles, forcing them to hold one predetermined position. You stand in the bar, and your body works.

This is the most popular exercise in all fitness programs, and it does not require machines, equipment, free weights and a gym. All you need is your body, desire and perseverance, and you can do it even at home!

The plank will help speed up metabolism, improve blood circulation, and the exercise is suitable for everyone: both beginners and advanced, both men and women. You will find this exercise in yoga, Pilates, stretching, bodybuilding.

A seemingly simple static exercise only seems so. After standing in the bar for one minute, you will realize that time does not fly so fast. By the way, the world record is 8 hours, 1 minute and 1 second for men. Women's record - 3 hours 31 minutes. So, you have something to strive for. Now about everything in order.

Useful properties of the bar for health and weight loss

Benefits of planks for health and weight loss

Exercise not only tightens the muscles, but also has preventive and curative effects against certain diseases. The effect is guaranteed with the systematic implementation of the exercise. The plank is capable of:

  • prevent and eliminate the first manifestations of osteochondrosis of the cervical and lumbar spine;
  • significantly improve posture;
  • relieve pain in the spine;
  • stimulate blood circulation;
  • speed up metabolism;
  • burn calories.

Please note that the last two points indicate that this exercise contributes to weight loss.

What muscles work

what muscles work when plank

During the execution of the standard (classic) bar, the following muscles work:

  • Rectus and transverse abdominal muscles;
  • Biceps, triceps, deltoid;
  • Paravertebral muscles of the lumbar;
  • Biceps, quadriceps thighs and calves;
  • Muscles of the buttocks;
  • Muscles of the back and chest.

Beneficial features

  1. Strengthens the muscles of the torso. When you're trying to build core strength, this pose is the most beneficial because it targets all the muscle groups in your abs. . . and you thought there were only "packs" on the abs? The plank not only works the abs, but also the stabilizing muscles, as well as the lateral abdominal muscles, which are responsible for the position of the hips and spinal muscles.
  2. Muscles become more pronounced. The plank also loads the muscles of the shoulders, chest, legs and back. They will grow too. The functionality of this pose, combined with isometric tension, helps muscles throughout the body to "dry out" and become more pronounced.
  3. Accelerates metabolism. Muscle strength and mass, which increase with proper exercise, have another great property, in addition to increased strength and a good figure - an accelerated metabolism! When you increase muscle mass, you speed up your resting metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories.
  4. Prevents back pain. As your abdominal muscles get stronger, your body has to rely less on using your back muscles to maintain your posture. Instead of the back muscles, the muscles of the torso now work, which are used for all exercises and work, which reduces the likelihood of back pain.
  5. Your posture improves. Improving posture is most often achieved by strengthening the health and strength of the muscles of the back and torso. When you assume the plank position, your back, neck, shoulder muscles, and abdominal muscles work to organically hold your body in position.
  6. Improved coordination. Isometric holding of the posture stimulates the improvement of coordination and balance in general. If you learn how to perform the plank skillfully, you will also be able to hold an upright posture more effectively and steadily.
  7. Improves joint and bone health. The plank allows you to train with heavy weights while reducing the unpleasant and negative effects associated with such exercises as running and jumping. When you stand in this pose, new living bone is created, which helps build healthier, stronger bones. Physical activity performed during exercise also improves blood circulation in the joints, making them more mobile. Reduces friction.
  8. Improves mood and reduces stress. Performing the plank, like any other exercise, promotes the release of the neurochemically active compound endorphin. Endorphin improves mood and creates a feeling of joy, and also helps relieve stress. This pose can also relieve tension, as the body is given the opportunity to stretch when you do this exercise.

Judging by the number of pluses from its implementation, it is not difficult to understand why it is so popular.

Whether you're just starting out or just adding a minute to your time in this pose, remember that quality is always more important than quantity or duration. As soon as your posture starts to "fall apart", you should stop, take a break, and try again on the next set or day.

Correct execution technique

proper plank technique

The algorithm for performing the movement is very simple, but nevertheless, be attentive to the little things, learn how to stand in the bar correctly, competent technique is the key to success.

  • Lie on your stomach. Place your elbows on the floor at shoulder level. Place your forearms on the floor. Bent arms should form a 90 degree angle. Straighten your legs and now lean on the toes of the feet and on the forearms. Feet can be placed together or spread hip-width apart. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders.
  • Tighten and straighten your whole body. Your body from head to toe should be in one straight line.
  • Do not bend the spine, do not raise the pelvis;
  • Tighten the press;
  • Breathing is even and calm.

There are many varieties of this exercise. But if you master the technique of performing the classic plank, then there will be no problems with other options.

Common Mistakes

  • Raise the pelvis above the level of the head. The very position of the bar is violated. What does this lead to? This is the most common mistake. People often feel tempted to raise their hips because this will allow them to hold the pose longer. The problem is that when you lift your hips up, most of the load falls on your shoulders and the pose loses its meaning. This mistake leads to the development of pain in the shoulders and back. Keep your hips in a straight line between your heels and shoulders.
  • Deflection in the cervical region. Overloaded neck muscles. When performing, the neck should be kept in a neutral position - the head should neither fall down nor rise higher. Imagine that both the head and the neck are parts of a straight line created by your rest of the body. When the neck is not on this line and the head is down or up, you are more likely to notice pain in your upper back or neck.
  • Raising the elbows to the side, connecting the fingers into the lock and lowering the head below the desired level. As a result, the shoulders are less involved, rushing blood to the head. If you keep your hands on each other, this will reduce the effectiveness of the pose. When your hands hold each other, the abdominal muscles work less. Always keep your arms apart, extending them in a straight line from your elbows, keeping your hands on the floor.
  • Deflection in the lower back. If you continue to stand in a pose with such an error, you can get problems with your lower back. When you arch your back, the weight of your body stops loading the muscles, instead, the vertebrae and the connections between them hold the load. This mistake leads to pain in the lower back. Correct the error by slightly rotating the pelvis. This will make your back straight. It is also useful to tighten the buttocks.
  • The hips are too low. If your hips go too low, then the entire weight of your body will rest on the lower vertebrae, although the muscles of the torso should work. It seems that it is easier to lean on the back than on the muscles, but then the exercise loses its meaning.
  • A rounded back is a sign that your shoulders are hunched. People sometimes make this mistake to compensate for a weak torso. The mistake allows people with a weak torso to hold a pose longer, due to excessive tension in the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders. To correct this error, move your shoulders down, away from your ears. The trapezius muscles and muscles of the middle back (muscles of the upper back) should be tightened to prevent the back from rounding.

Beginner Tips

plank tips for beginners

Perform the exercise on a yoga mat or towel so that the hard floor doesn't make your elbows uncomfortable. Before exercising, warm up by stretching or doing some simple exercises for three minutes. The first days, stand in the bar for only 20 seconds. This is enough for a beginner. To facilitate the exercise, place your feet hip-width apart.

If even in this position you feel not quite confident, then do it from your knees.

After a few days, when the muscles get stronger, complicate the bar from the knees by straightening one leg and holding it in weight. Stay like this for 30 seconds, then switch legs. After completing the exercise, we recommend taking balasana - the pose of a child. This will relieve tension and relax the core muscles.

Is it possible to do the bar during menstruation

Definitely yes. During menstruation, you can do many things, especially sports. Some young ladies may use critical days as an excuse not to study, but to lie on the couch, leafing through gloss, afford a couple of cakes. But you won't do it. If during this period you have a catastrophic decline in strength and mood, then it is better to slow down with training. And if the critical days are not so critical for you, then stand on the bar for health.

How long do you need to stand on the plank for weight loss?

how long do you need to plank for weight loss

Not sure how long to hold plank pose? Hold until you find it difficult to maintain the correct technique, or hold it until you feel your muscles begin to ache and your body begins to tremble - then hold it for another 5-10 seconds.

If this is your first time in this pose and you find yourself standing for 1 minute easily, congratulations. You are in satisfactory physical condition. But if you are completely new to the sport, then you can start with 10 seconds, doing five repetitions a day. After a while, when the muscles get stronger, do 4 rounds of 30 seconds, each time increasing the duration of the exercise by 1 second.

Remember that the main thing is technique. It's better to stand for 20 seconds with perfect form than 40 seconds with your lower back arched.

Plank every day, but leave one day a week to rest.

But you need to understand that everything depends on the capabilities of your body. Starting to train and evaluating your strength, you will be able to choose the best option and time, and you will stand in this position with health benefits and with pleasure.

When it is better to do the plank for weight loss is up to you. After all, it is good because it does not require anything but your body and a little space. Exercise can be performed in the morning, and in the evening, and during the day, but you should not do it immediately after eating and immediately before bedtime.

How to stay in the plank longer

how to stay in plank longer

Regular training will allow you to stand in the bar longer and more technically. But other points are also important:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothes. Make yourself comfortable in this sense. You should not be distracted by the cutting shoulder strap of the top or slipping sneakers.
  • A soft enough mat or towel that will allow you to stay in the pose for longer. After all, the pain from a hard floor, felt in the elbow, can make you give up ahead of time.
  • Ventilated room. You need oxygen.
  • Turn on the music.
  • Keep yourself quiet, turn off your phone, take care not to be inadvertently distracted.
  • Mentally motivate yourself. Words: "My body is working, muscles are getting stronger, I am getting more beautiful! "work great.
  • Do a warm-up before exercise.
  • Use a stopwatch. When you see how the seconds increase, it motivates.

Popular plank options: technique, nuances and differences


classic plank for weight loss

You should lean on your toes and on your forearms. The arms are bent at the elbows at an angle of 90 degrees, the forearms are parallel to each other. Your body from head to toe is a straight line. Tighten your buttocks and leg muscles. Do not lower your pelvis, do not raise or lower your head. Breathing is even.

Full or straight arms

straight arm plank

Straighten your arms and lift your hips, keeping your hands on the floor. This plank may even seem easier for some people who have a more developed upper body. This variety will make the shoulders more stable than the classic. The fingers should be wide apart and the middle finger should point straight ahead. Rotate the inside of your elbow forward to engage your biceps.


side plank for weight loss

Lie on your right side, placing your feet on top of each other. Place your lower right elbow directly under your right shoulder and lift your thigh off the floor to create a straight line. You should feel tension in the waist area. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling or place it on your left thigh. Hold this pose for a few seconds, then repeat the same with the other, left side of the body. If you feel like one side of your body is stronger than the other, keep doing the same number of reps on each side to make them equally strong.

Lateral with leg lift

side plank with leg raise

Once you've been able to hold the side plank for one minute, you can try this variation. Rise into a side plank position and, holding the position, lift your upper leg a few inches off the floor, then, tensing your muscles, controlling the movement of your leg, lower it back. Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Lateral with lowering of the hips

Standing in a side plank, lower your pelvis down without touching the floor, then return to the starting position. What gives? Increased load on oblique.

Full leg raise

full plank with leg raises

Start in a full plank position, resting your hands on the floor and keeping your hips and abs tight. Raise one leg up, squeezing your buttocks. Keep your leg in the air for a few seconds, then switch to the other leg and do the same. It is not necessary to raise your legs very high, it is important to stretch them away from you. Do 10 repetitions with each leg.


reverse bar for weight loss

Sit on the floor. Put your hands on the floor, taking them back a little. Raise your pelvis. The palms should be strictly under the shoulders. Opara on the palms and heels. Tighten your body, it should form a straight line.

On fitball

plank for weight loss on fitball

We carry out the classic plank, but we raise the legs with the help of a fitball. The ball is under the feet.

Army or dynamic

Start in the basic plank position with your forearms on the floor. Now, pushing off first with your right hand, then with your left, move to a full plank position. After that, lower yourself back to the base position, again starting on the right side. Do 10 reps on each side - 10 reps on the right, then 10 reps on the left.

Rock climber or knee pull

plank knee pull

Start in a full plank position, then tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your right knee towards your chest using your lower abdominal muscles. Return the right leg to the starting position and repeat the exercise for the left leg. Continue to repeat the exercise with both knees 20-30 times. You can do it quickly or slowly, the main thing is the right technique, because it is more important than speed.

With alternating shoulder touches

plank with alternating shoulder touches

Start in a full plank position, keeping your hips as stable as possible. Reach with your right hand to your left shoulder. Return your right hand to its original position, then touch your right shoulder with your left hand. Keep repeating this exercise 20-30 times.

But now that you know a lot more about the bar than before, you ask, how many kilograms can you lose weight with the help of exercise? Maybe the answer will disappoint you, but if you do not create a calorie deficit in your diet, then even this 30-day fat burning program will not help you lose weight. It will help strengthen the muscles, make them stronger. If you want to lose weight, start burning more calories than you consume. In losing weight, a simple rule of mathematics works: if more has arrived than has decreased, all the excess goes to body fat. I wish we could learn how to save money the way our body stores fat! Perform the plank by combining it with these tips:

Useful tips for training and weight loss

useful tips for training and weight loss
  • Eat eggs for breakfast. Consumption of eggs in the morning has many positive properties, one of which is accelerated weight loss. If you replace the bread that many people eat for breakfast with eggs, then you will lose more calories and fat for that day and be better satiated.
  • Drink coffee (preferably black). Coffee contains a huge amount of antioxidants and has many health benefits. The caffeine contained in a cup of coffee speeds up metabolism by 3-11%. But sugar or other high-calorie ingredients should not be added to coffee, as this completely removes its benefits.
  • Eliminate hidden sugar from your diet. Sugar is one of the most harmful ingredients in the current human diet. Many people consume too much sugar. Studies have shown that both sugar and fructose syrup are associated with a strong risk of obesity, as well as diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. If you want to lose weight, then remove sugar from your diet. Watch out for labels on packages, even so-called "healthy" foods can contain a lot of sugar.
  • Eat fewer processed carbohydrates. Refined or processed carbohydrates are found in pasta and white bread. These carbohydrates are usually made from grains that have had all other nutrients, such as proteins and fats, removed. These types of carbohydrates cause spikes in insulin levels. Insulin surges stimulate hunger and the desire to eat something sweet. Refined carbohydrates are closely associated with obesity. If you are going to eat carbohydrates at all, then eat them whole, with natural fiber.
  • Control portions. Portion control or calorie counting is very helpful. Counting calories at every meal helps motivate you to lose weight. Anything that lets you know more about your food will be helpful.
  • Eat more protein. Protein is the most important thing for weight loss. Eating protein-rich foods speeds up the metabolism and allows it to burn 100 more calories per day. At the same time, the food itself contains 400 fewer calories than you would normally consume. Also, you will lose the desire to eat in the evening and cravings for sweets.
  • Add whey protein to your diet. If you find it difficult to add enough protein to your diet, start taking a protein powder supplement to get enough protein.
  • Eat "real" food. If you want to be a healthy person, you must completely switch to a menu of whole foods. These foods fill you up, are difficult to overeat, and very difficult to gain weight on such a diet if most of your food is unprocessed.

Daily diet example

useful menu example
  • Breakfast: 2 slices whole wheat toast + 2 hard boiled eggs + hot sauce (optional)
  • Snack: 1 cup berries, blueberries, for example + a handful of nuts;
  • Lunch: 100 g salmon + avocado + 1 whole grain bread + 1 glass of greens;
  • Afternoon snack: broccoli and cauliflower + 2 tablespoons unsweetened yogurt;
  • Dinner: 130 g lean steak + stewed carrots + Brussels sprouts + 1 tablespoon olive oil;
  • And at night (possible for an hour) 150 g of cottage cheese (of course, without sugar).

What else can you do to lose weight faster?

Aerobic exercise

Doing aerobic exercise (cardio) is a great way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health. Cardio is especially effective at removing belly fat, unhealthy fat that accumulates around organs and causes disease.

strength training

This will speed up your metabolism and prevent you from losing muscle mass. Of course, it is important not only to lose fat, but also to gain muscle. Therefore, strength training is essential.

High Intensity Interval Training

By not spending a lot of time exercising, you will speed up your metabolism, increase your stamina, and burn additional calories.

The plank develops a sense of balance and trains willpower and character. Standing in it every day for a few seconds longer and not allowing yourself to give up, you build your character and become stronger. Perhaps this exercise will be the start to a beautiful, athletic body that you will be proud of.