Friday, August 22, 2014

Form is Everything - Plank

Recently, I was reading a fellow blogger friend's post and stumbled across this photo:

Seriously.  Seriously!  I just.  Can't.  CAN. NOT.

Fortunately, I was not the only one who saw the problem in this photo, and a few of us readers (and the blog owner, too) had a little poke-fun session.


This is why:

Do you see the difference?  Here, let me draw it out for you.


Ugh.  Cheating in plank is my ultimate pet peeve.  I so hate seeing someone do plank with bad form.

So, you might ask ... what's the problem with the above, and how do I fix it?

Well, as you know, I try to make every workout fun.  And with plank, I try to keep it fun by asking folks to think back to old school games to correct their form. 

What do I mean by that?  Well - when planking, why not play some good ol' "connect the dots"?

Notice how in the photo of the single woman, you can draw a nice straight line between her shoulders, hips and ankles.  Then, look at the group photo - those lines are more like an inverted V, right?

The true goal of plank is to have a nice straight line of connect the dots.  Lift those hips too high and you negate all the core building benefits of plank.  So - play the game right!  Get a good, straight line.

That principle, by the way, applies both ways.  While I don't want to see a bunch of inverted V's, I also don't want to see a bunch of seals either.

What do I mean by that?


Some people have a tendency in plank to over-correct the inverted V.  Then, before you know it, their belly is dropping down like a seal, hanging towards the floor.  This is equally bad, and may also lead to back troubles when done in plank position.  Don't do it!! 

Again, the focus here is to keep those hips in line - raise them up and connect those ankle and shoulder dots with a straight line!!

**(Yes, I will admit that this photo is actually a demonstration of a yoga form called up dog - just ignore that.  I needed an example of how you can lower your hips too far down in plank as well, and this gets my point across.)

And that's about it!!  With a few easy corrections, any plank can go from bad to good.  Just remember: connect those dots, skip those V's, and keep the seals out of your workout.  Get that plank done right!!


  1. Ah yes, the butts in the air. Great graphic illustration of the proper form! It really helps to show just how bad the general form was in the group picture. I giggled at the seals picture. =) Thanks for disclaiming about the woman in up-dog pose because if not, that would have been the worst plank I'd ever seen, bar none!!!

    1. Oh, man - I've seen quite a bit of bad form as a teacher. Sadly, that down dog plank ... I've seen close to it before.