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What Does It Mean If You Cannot Plank For More Than 30 Seconds?

Planks are the rage today. Trainers from every walk of exercise, be it HIIT sessions to yoga trainers, swear by the benefits of planks and they have become a must have in every exercise regime including cardio, boot camp and strength training. Planks are great for firing up the core along with bringing the muscles of shoulders and legs alive too. However, the important thing is to do the planks properly using the correct technique. Many plank virgins or beginners find it difficult to hold their plank position for more than a few seconds. Now, what can this mean…let’s find out.

What Does It Mean If You Cannot Plank For More Than 30 Seconds

We Will Give You 3 Major Reasons For Why You Are Unable To Hold A Plank For 30 Seconds Or Less!!(1)

It Means That You Have A Weak Core

Having core muscles that are weak will make holding a plank difficult for more than a few seconds. So, the thing here is, with a weak core, it’s difficult to hold a plank for more than a few seconds; and plank itself is an exercise, which is beneficial in strengthening your core muscles. So, to make your core strong with the help of a plank and to extend the time of your plank beyond 30 seconds you have to consciously tighten your core muscles by sucking in your belly button/stomach towards your spine.(3) You also have to make sure that your hips are not sagging and raise and contract your gluteus muscles too.(3) Doing this will not only strengthen your core, but also will enable you to hold your plank for longer time. It will take some time and practice, so patience and consistency while doing plank is important here.(2)

Tip: Plank virgins can start planking by modifying the technique by placing your hands on an elevated surface like a bench to make holding your plank easier along with developing your core strength. You can also do standing core press to prepare yourself for doing planks for longer time. Make sure you keep your abdominal and hip muscles engaged throughout the plank and gradually increase your time to cross the 30 seconds mark by doing it daily.

Note: DO NOT hold your breath and remember to keep breathing evenly throughout when doing any type of exercise.(3)

It Means That You Cannot Maintain A Neutral Alignment Of Your Body

Many people think that core-strength comes from abs, which is wrong. Our core comprises of many muscles which extend from our shoulders to the knees including the glutes and quads.(4) So, if you do not engage these muscles, then you won’t be able to keep the spine in a neutral alignment, which will hamper your plank technique resulting in you not being able to hold the plank for more than 30 seconds. So, you need to actively tighten your abs, legs and butt to keep your spine stable and also keep your pelvis tucked in, which will make holding you plank easier and effective. Tightening all these muscles will also prevent your hip sagging and increase your quadriceps and gluteus endurance. Try to do as many reps as you can daily using the correct plank form.

Note: Remember to breathe throughout when doing any type of exercise.

It Means That You Have A Weak Upper Body And Your Shoulder Blades Pop Up When Planking

The correct form in a plank requires your shoulder blades and the back to be flat and stable.(5) If your upper body is weak, then your shoulder blades will stick out like wings when you are planking, thus putting a strain on the back resulting in you not being able to hold the plank for more than 30 seconds or even less. The muscles in the upper body need to be strengthened so you can hold your body away from the ground along with maintaining the shoulder joint when planking. With weak upper body muscles, it is difficult to hold a plank for more than a few seconds.

One of the best ways to increase your body strength is to do push-ups, which is a great exercise to increase your upper body endurance.(6) You can also try knee pushups if you are unable to do regular pushups or even do wall pushups to build your strength in the upper body. Pushups are nothing but a plank in an active form and will help you get to doing daily planks for more than the 30 second mark.

Tip: So, plank virgins should definitely incorporate pushups in their daily routine to be a better planker.

Note: Remember to breathe throughout when doing any type of exercise.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 6, 2021

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