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How long should a plank last?
How long should a plank last?

Are you proud because you can hold a plank for almost two minutes? How long planking should really take to be effective for your fitness.

How long should a plank last?
How long should a plank last?

Planking is a real miracle workout. You burn body fat, strengthen your back and shape your body. Above all, the abdominal and back muscles are trained during planking. But how long should the plank take to be really effective?

In the gym, you can often see people doing the plank for five minutes with clenched teeth. Is this feat really worth it?

How long should planking take?

There are two different views. The spine specialist Stuart McGill told the British Telegraph that a plank should only take 15 seconds. "There's no reason to stay in this position for over a minute - except to chase records."

His recommendation: build up the planking, for example, in 3 sets of 15 seconds each with a 5-second break. This gives you the same effect as 45 seconds non-stop.

A personal trainer whom we asked: "The plank should be held for at least 45 seconds to a minute. Then you actually see real results after a few weeks."

More important than the planking time: the right execution

Whether you are doing interval planking or holding out in the position for over a minute, the key to success is that you really do the exercise correctly.

  • In the prone position, bring your forearms on the floor parallel to your body.
  • Elbows at shoulder level, feet up and body lifted.
  • Important: hips and shoulders must be at the same height.
  • Draw in and tense your stomach.
  • Avoid hollow back and hold for a minute.

Tip: It is best to do the exercise parallel to a mirror so that you can check your posture, especially at the beginning.

If you have mastered the plank perfectly and are not out of breath, then you can expand the exercise.

  • Plank with leg rotation: From the starting position, lift one leg towards the ceiling. Bend your knee. Move your leg from top to bottom, knee first, to the opposite hand. Repeat 30 seconds per side. Then switch legs.
  • Lateral forearm support: Lay on your side on the floor, bend your forearm at shoulder height, loosen your hips from the floor and tense. Hold for a minute, then switch sides.
  • Extended support: Get into the plank position, then just spread your arms further apart and hold for a minute.

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