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In addition to strengthening your core, the plank exercise helps increase shoulder stability and bone strength in your forearms and wrists. Planks performed on your forearms work your abdominal muscles more than planks performed on your hands, in which you hold your body at a higher angle. Additionally, forearm planks are less taxing on your wrists and shoulders. Consult your doctor before taking on a new exercise routine, and for the best results, learn proper form.
Lie on your stomach on the floor.
Spread your legs about hip-width apart, flex your feet and tuck your toes under so the balls of your feet press into the floor.
Bend your elbows and place your forearms on the floor with the palms of your hands facing down. Alternatively, face your palms toward each other and make your hands into fists.
Tighten your abdominals, look down at the floor and keep your back straight -- imagine pulling your navel to your spine.
Contract your glutes and legs and lift your hips and thighs off the floor. Avoid pushing your hips up too high or letting them sag to the floor -- your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
Breathe normally and hold this position for as long as you can. If you feel pain or can't maintain perfect form, lower yourself to your knees and relax your muscles
- Perform forearm planks three or four times per day. Aim to increase the duration of the exercise each time.
- To make the exercise easier, perform forearm planks on your knees.
- For an extra challenge, raise one leg off the floor as you hold the plank.
- Perform forearm planks in front of a mirror so you can monitor your form.
- Have a personal trainer teach you proper form, if you're new to exercise.