abdominal planks - Technique, types and common mistakes in beginners

Doing abdominal planks or planks is one of the best methods to strengthen the middle or core. Planks are one of the best static-type abdominal exercises.

The front plank technique involves fixing the body to the ground and supporting the weight with the middle abdominal area. With other types, you can also work the lateral abs.

This article describes the correct technique of abdominal planks, the different types that exist, and the most common mistakes in beginners.

Abdominal Planks: What are they?

Sit-ups, planks, or planks are among the best static exercises to strengthen your core.

When doing planks, the development of the internal and frontal muscles of the abdomen is achieved.

In addition, some types of planks, such as the lateral ones, allow you to work the oblique muscles and the transverse muscle of the abdomen. This is an exercise where the shoulders and arms are also performed.

The abdominal planks are recommended when starting or ending a gym routine. The goal in doing this exercise should be to maintain a fixed position for as long as possible.

// Recommended: Abdominal plank routine at home

How to do front abdominal planks?

When doing front abdominal planks, you must support your body weight with your abdomen. The forearms-elbows and the balls of the feet should be used for support. The glutes and spine should be kept tight and slightly inward.

A beginner is recommended to start with the front type and 3-4 sets of 30 seconds with about 30 seconds of rest between sets. To keep track of the time, you can use a watch or the stopwatch of your cell phone on the ground. Remember that it is more critical to iron correctly than extend the time.

How to do abdominal planks step by step:

  1. Paso 1

Lie face down on a mat. Support your body on your elbows aligned at shoulder height

  1. Paso 2

Using your toes, raise your abdomen. You must squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs.

  1. Paso 3

Keep your neck and spine neutral in a straight line from head to toe. You can use a table or a mirror to check your posture.

  1. Paso 4

Don’t let your hips drop to the ground. Sagging hips make the exercise easier at first, but negates the work of your abs.

  1. Paso 5

Look down at the ground. This is an excellent method to maintain a neutral neck position.

Types of abdominal planks

There are several types of abdominal planks. However, a beginner should start with the traditional side planks. The types of plates with movement are for an athlete of advanced level. The types of abdominal planks are:

The standard front plate front plank is the classic type of abdominal plank. Remember that the balls of the feet are supportive, and the abdomen must be activated. One tip to improve performance when doing front planks is to pay attention to your breathing. Breathe deeply and calmly; using the diaphragm will improve the oxygen absorption capacity.

  1. Front plank over the elbows

This is one of the simplest abdominal planks, but where beginners make the most mistakes. The elbows must remain below the chin line, and the legs and back must be straight. Remember that when doing the abdominal plank, you must tension the abdomen as much as possible and squeeze the pelvis inward to keep the body straight. It would help if you looked towards the fists without tilting your head.

  1. Side plank

This is one of the types of planks to work the obliques. To start, you must position yourself on the front plates. Ideally, rotate on one side and put one foot on the other to improve stability. The support should be on one elbow and form a straight line (diagonal to the ground).

The right arm can be kept on the side of the body, stretching it upwards, forming 90 ° with the ground. You can raise and lower the hips if you have achieved the position.

  1. Side plank with movement

This is one of the most different plates and a little more complex than the lateral ones. Well, it has only two points of support. The technique is similar to the side planks, with the difference that the oblique muscles are used to raise and lower the hips. At the top of the movement, you must push your body up. The arm should be kept straight with care to not overload the wrist.

  1. Front iron on a support

This is a more complex plank type, so they are ideal for advanced athletes. The technique is similar to the front planks, with the only difference being that you must lift one leg. Make sure that when you lift your leg, you do not shift your body to the sides.

Common mistakes in beginners

Despite the apparent simplicity of the exercise, a beginner often makes a number of common mistakes when doing the plank. Hunching your back or completely diverting the load towards the shoulders and arms is a common mistake when doing the abdominal plank.

Common mistakes when doing planks are mainly poor positioning of the elbows and lower back. Also, beginners should know that doing planks every day is not a good idea, as it does not allow for muscle recovery. The most common mistakes when doing crunches are described below:

  1. Curve your back up

The body should be stretched in a straight line; the back should not be rounded. The muscles of the legs and buttocks should also remain slightly tense.

  1. Raise your head

The gaze should be directed downward and not forward. The neck should form a straight line with the spine.

  1. Lower the pelvis

Proper abdominal plank technique requires static tension on your midsection muscles. If it’s difficult, start with the outstretched arms variation.

  1. Change the angle of the elbows back.

Changing the angle of your elbows back is one of the most common mistakes when doing planks. Elbows should be at a 90-degree angle to the shoulders

  1. Change the tip of the elbows forward

The last mistake when doing planks is to position your elbows forward. This also does not allow to form the right angle with the shoulders.

The shoulders play a fundamental role when doing planks. However, their work should not be overextended. One of the common mistakes when making planks is to divert the load to the joints completely.

What are abdominal planks for? – Profits

The planks are used to strengthen both the external and internal abdominal muscles. The biological function of the abdominals is supportive. When doing abdominal planks, the capacity of the abdominal muscle work and the body-to-body relationship with said muscle group is improved.

Something essential when doing planks is not just trying to increase the exercise duration. But strive to improve each performance technique. For both men and women, planning using the wrong approach can lead to chronic pain in the lower back and neck.

The benefits of abdominal planks are:

  • Develop the internal abdominal muscles
  • Develop the muscles of the diaphragm
  • Improve posture
  • Reduce waist circumference
  • Allow achieving abs quickly


The planks or planks are a fundamental exercise for the work of the abdomen and the activation of the core. In addition, they are an ideal exercise as a physical warm-up.

How to do abdominal planks? – Remember that the muscles of the middle zone are the ones that must work. Do not try to shift body weight onto the joints. The back should follow the natural curvature, with a slight incline of the pelvis inward.

There are several types of abdominal planks; the traditional technique is to support the elbows and the balls of the feet. Remember to breathe well to improve performance.

Raising the glutes high or exaggerated against the floor and deflecting the elbows are the most common mistakes when doing planks.

A correct plank technique requires the activation of the whole body; if this is very difficult for a beginner, we recommend reducing the time or trying more accessible types than sacrificing the technique.


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