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 muscles of the shoulders and buttocks, the plank will help you.

Is it hard to believe that doing one exercise a day 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 strength development pose, as it tenses all the large muscles of the torso, as well as the shoulders, strengthens the neck, back muscles, glutes, quadriceps and abs. The plank is also known as the isometric position. It contracts the muscles, forcing them to maintain a predetermined position. You stand at the bar and your body works.

This is the most popular exercise in all fitness programs and requires no machines, equipment, free weights, and a gym. All you need is your body, desire and perseverance, and you can do it at home too!

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

A seemingly simple static exercise just seems like this. After standing at the bar for a minute, you will realize that time doesn't fly by that 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 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 some diseases. The effect is guaranteed with the systematic implementation of the exercise. The dashboard is able to:

  • 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.

Keep in mind that the last two points indicate that this exercise contributes to weight loss.

Which muscles work

what muscles work when planking

When performing the standard (classic) bar, the following muscles work:

  • Rectus and transverse abdominal muscles;
  • Biceps, triceps, deltoids;
  • Lumbar paravertebral muscles;
  • Biceps, quadriceps, thighs and calves;
  • Muscles of the buttocks;
  • Muscles of the back and chest.

Advantageous features

  1. Strengthen the torso muscles. When you are looking to build core strength, this pose is the most beneficial because it targets all muscle groups in the abs. . . and you thought there were only abs on abs? The plank does not only work the abs, but also the stabilizer muscles, as well as the lateral abdominal muscles, which are responsible for the position of the hips and the muscles of the spine.
  2. The 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 the isometric tension, helps the muscles of the whole body to "dry out" and become more pronounced.
  3. It accelerates the metabolism. Strength and muscle mass, which increase with proper exercise, have another great property, in addition to increased strength and a good figure: an accelerated metabolism! When you gain 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 the back muscles to maintain posture. Instead of the back muscles, the torso muscles now work, which are used for all exercises and work, reducing the likelihood of back pain.
  5. Your posture improves. Improved posture is often achieved by strengthening the health and strength of the back and torso muscles. When you assume the plank position, your back, neck, shoulder muscles, and abdominal muscles work to organically hold your body in place.
  6. Improvement of coordination. The isometric maintenance of posture stimulates the improvement of coordination and balance in general. If you learn to do the plank skillfully, you will also be able to maintain an upright posture more effectively and more steadily.
  7. Improve joint and bone health. The plank allows you to train with heavy weights by reducing the unpleasant and negative effects associated with exercises such as running and jumping. When you are in this position, a new living bone is created, which helps build healthier and stronger bones. Physical activity performed during exercise also improves blood circulation in the joints, making them more mobile. Reduces friction.
  8. It improves mood and reduces stress. Performing the plank, like any other exercise, promotes the release of endorphin, a neurochemically active compound. 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 perform this exercise.

Judging by the number of advantages of 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 begins to "fall apart", you should stop, take a break and try again on set or the next day.

Correct execution technique

correct plank technique

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

  • Lie on your stomach. Rest your elbows on the floor at shoulder height. Rest your forearms on the floor. Bent arms should form a 90 degree angle. Straighten your legs and now lean on your toes and forearms. Feet can be pushed together or hip-width apart. Make sure your elbows are below your shoulders.
  • Squeeze and straighten your whole body. Your body from head to toe should be in a 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, 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 as this will allow them to hold the pose longer. The problem is that when you lift your hips, most of the load falls on your shoulders and the pose loses its meaning. This error 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. Overworked neck muscles. During the execution, the neck must be kept in a neutral position: the head must neither fall nor rise higher. Imagine that both the head and neck are parts of a straight line created by the rest of the body. When your neck is not in this line and your head is low or high, you are more likely to notice pain in your upper back or neck.
  • Raise your elbows to the side, connect your fingers in the lock and lower your head below the desired level. As a result, the shoulders are less involved, and blood flows 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 the elbows, keeping your hands on the floor.
  • Flexion in the lower back. If you continue to pose with such a mistake, you can have 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 carry the load. This mistake leads to pain in the lower back. Correct the mistake by turning the pelvis slightly. This will make your back straight. It is also useful for tightening the buttocks.
  • The hips are too low. If your hips drop too low, your entire body weight will rest on your lower vertebrae, even though your torso muscles should be working. 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 bust. The mistake allows people with a weak torso to maintain a pose longer, due to excessive tension in the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders. To correct this mistake, move your shoulders down, away from your ears. The trapezius and middle back muscles (upper back muscles) must be tight to prevent the back from rounding.

Tips for beginners

board tips for beginners

Perform the exercise on a yoga mat or towel so 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 few days, you stay at 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 don't feel confident enough, 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 that you take balasana, a child's pose. This will relieve tension and relax the core muscles.

It is possible to do the bar during menstruation

Definitely yes. During your period, you can do many things, especially sports. Some young ladies may use caution days as an excuse not to study, but to lie down on the sofa, flip through the glosses, afford a couple of cakes. But you won't. If during this time you have a catastrophic decline in strength and mood, then it is best to slow down with training. And if caution days aren't that critical for you, then question yourself about health.

How long do you have to stay on the bar to lose weight?

how long do you need plank to lose weight

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

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

Remember that the main thing is the technique. It is better to stand for 20 seconds in perfect shape than 40 seconds with the lower back arched.

Plank every day, but let it sit one day a week.

But you need to understand that it all depends on the capabilities of your body. By starting to train and assessing your strength, you will be able to choose the best option and time, and you will remain in this position with health benefits and with pleasure.

When it is best to do the plank for weight loss is up to you. After all, that's fine because it requires nothing more than your body and some space. Exercise can be done in the morning, evening, and during the day, but you shouldn't do it right after eating and right before bed.

How to stay on the board longer

how to stay on the plank longer

Regular training will allow you to stay at the bar longer and in a more technical way. But other points are also important:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothes. Make yourself comfortable in this regard. You shouldn't be distracted by the sharp shoulder strap of the top or slipping sneakers.
  • A mat or towel that is soft enough to allow you to stay in place for longer. After all, 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 calm, turn off your phone, be careful not to get distracted inadvertently.
  • Mentally motivated. Words: "My body is working, muscles are getting stronger, I'm getting prettier! " Work great.
  • Do a warm-up before exercising.
  • Use a stopwatch. When you see how the seconds increase, motivate.

Popular plank options - technique, shades and differences


Classic plank for weight loss

You should be resting on your toes and 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 the buttocks and leg muscles. Do not lower your pelvis, do not raise or lower your head. Breathing is uniform.

Full or straight arms

straight arm dashboard

Straighten your arms and lift your hips, keeping your hands on the floor. This plank may also 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 spaced apart and the middle finger should point straight forward. Rotate the inside of the elbow forward to engage the 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. Extend your left arm towards the ceiling or place it on your left thigh. Hold this position for a few seconds, then repeat the same with the other left side of the body. If you feel that one side of your body is stronger than the other, keep doing the same number of repetitions on each side to make them equally strong.

Lateral with leg lift

side plank with raised leg

When you can hold the side plank for a minute, you can try this variant. Stand up in a side plank position and, holding the position, raise the upper leg a few inches off the floor, then, tensing the muscles, controlling the movement of the leg, lower it backwards. Do 10 repetitions, then repeat on the other side.

Lateral with lowering of the hips

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

Full leg lift

full plank with leg lifts

Begin in a full plank position, placing your hands on the floor and keeping your hips and abs contracted. Raise one leg, squeezing the 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 lift your legs very high, it is important to stretch them away from you. Do 10 reps per leg.


reverse bar for weight loss

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

On fitball

plank for weight loss on fitball

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

Army or dynamic

Start in the basic plank position with your forearms on the floor. Now, pushing first with your right hand, then with your left, move into a full plank position. After that, return to the basic position, starting over on the right side. Do 10 reps on each side: 10 reps right, then 10 reps left.

Rock climber or knee shot

plank knee shot

Start in a full plank position, then contract 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. Keep repeating the exercise with both knees 20-30 times. You can do it fast or slow, the important thing is the right technique, because it is more important than speed.

With alternating touches on the shoulders

plank with alternating shoulder touches

Start in a full plank position, keeping your hips as stable as possible. Reach for your left shoulder with your right hand. 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, ask how many kilograms can you lose weight with the help of exercise? Perhaps the answer will disappoint you, but if you don't create a calorie deficit in your diet, even this 30-day fat burning program won't 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. A simple rule of math works in weight loss: if more has come than lost, all the excess goes to body fat. I wish we could learn how to save money the way our body stores fat! Do 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. Eating 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, you will lose more calories and fat for that day and be fuller.
  • Have a coffee (preferably black). Coffee contains a huge amount of antioxidants and has many health benefits. The caffeine contained in a cup of coffee accelerates the metabolism by 3-11%. But sugar or other high-calorie ingredients should not be added to coffee, as this completely eliminates 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 high risk of obesity, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. If you want to lose weight, remove sugar from your diet. Pay attention to the labels on the packages, even the 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 all other nutrients removed, such as proteins and fats. These types of carbohydrates cause spikes in insulin levels. Spikes in insulin stimulate hunger and the desire to eat something sweet. Refined carbohydrates are closely associated with obesity. If you are going to eat carbs, then eat them whole, with natural fiber.
  • Control portions. Portion control or calorie counting is very helpful. Counting calories at each 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 your metabolism and burns 100 extra calories per day. At the same time, the food itself contains 400 fewer calories than you would normally consume. In addition, you will lose the desire to eat in the evening and the desire 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 need to completely switch to a whole foods menu. These foods fill you up, are difficult to overeat, and very difficult to gain weight on such a diet if most of the food is unprocessed.

Example of a daily diet

useful menu example
  • Breakfast: 2 slices of wholemeal toast + 2 hard boiled eggs + hot sauce (optional)
  • Snack: 1 cup of berries, blueberries, for example + a handful of nuts;
  • Lunch: 100 g of salmon + avocado + 1 wholemeal bread + 1 glass of vegetables;
  • Afternoon snack: broccoli and cauliflower + 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt;
  • Dinner: 130g lean steak + stewed carrots + Brussels sprouts + 1 tablespoon of 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?

Aerobics exercises

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, the unhealthy fat that builds up 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 mass. Therefore, strength training is essential.

High intensity interval training

By not spending much time on exercise, 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. Stand there every day for a few more seconds and don't allow yourself to give up, build your character and get stronger. Perhaps this exercise will be the start of a beautiful, athletic body that you will be proud of.