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, tone the abs, flatten them, strengthen the shoulder and gluteal muscles, the plank will help you.

Is it hard to believe that doing one exercise every day can improve strength, shape, 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 provide you with lifelong benefits.

In yoga, plank pose or Phalakasana is a pose for developing strength, as it tenses all the major muscles of the trunk, as well as the shoulders, strengthening the neck, back muscles, buttocks, quads, and abs. Planks are also known as isometric stances. This contracts the muscles, forcing them to hold a predetermined position. You stand at the bar, and your body works.

It is the most popular exercise in all fitness programs, and does not require machines, equipment, free weights, and a gym. All you need is your body, desire and perseverance, and you can do it even at home!

Planks will help speed up metabolism, improve blood circulation, and this exercise is suitable for everyone: beginners and advanced, both men and women. You will find these exercises in yoga, Pilates, stretching, bodybuilding.

Seemingly simple static exercises seem to be just that. After standing at the bar for a minute, you'll realize that time doesn't go so 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 fight for. Now about everything in order.

Useful properties of bars for health and weight loss

Benefits of plank for health and weight loss

Exercise not only tightens muscles, but also has a preventive and curative effect against certain diseases. The effect is guaranteed by the systematic execution of the exercises. This board is capable of:

  • prevent and eliminate the first manifestations of osteochondrosis of the cervical and lumbar spine;
  • significantly improve posture;
  • relieve pain in the spine;
  • stimulates blood circulation;
  • accelerate metabolism;
  • burn calories.

Please note that the last two points indicate that this exercise contributes to weight loss.

What muscles work?

what muscles work on a plank

During the execution of the standard (classic) bar, the following muscles are worked:

  • rectus and transverse abdominal muscles;
  • Biceps, triceps, deltoids;
  • Lumbar paravertebral muscles;
  • Biceps, quads and calves;
  • buttocks muscles;
  • Back and chest muscles.

Useful features

  1. Strengthens the muscles of the trunk. When you're trying to build core strength, this pose is the most beneficial because it targets all the muscle groups in your abs. . . and you think there's just a belly in the stomach? The plank trains not only the abs, but also the stabilizing muscles, as well as the lateral abdominal muscles, which are responsible for the position of the hips and the muscles of the spine.
  2. Muscles become more prominent. Planks also load the muscles of the shoulders, chest, legs, and back. They will grow too. The function of this pose, combined with isometric tension, helps muscles throughout the body to "dry out" and become more prominent.
  3. Speed up metabolism. Strength and muscle mass, which increase with proper training, have another great property, in addition to an increase in strength and a good figure - an accelerated metabolism! When you increase muscle mass, you speed up your resting metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories.
  4. Prevent back pain. As your abdominal muscles get stronger, your body will need to rely less on your back muscles to maintain your posture. Instead of the back muscles, the torso muscles are now employed, which are used for all exercises and work, which reduces the chances of back pain.
  5. Your posture improves. Improving posture is most often achieved by strengthening the health and strength of the back and chest muscles. When you take a plank position, your back, neck, shoulder and abdominal muscles work to organically hold your body in position.
  6. Improved coordination. Holding the posture isometrically stimulates improved coordination and general balance. If you learn how to do planks skillfully, you'll also be able to maintain an upright posture more effectively and steadily.
  7. Improve joint and bone health. Planks allow you to train with heavy weights while reducing the unpleasant and negative effects associated with exercises such as running and jumping. When you stand in this pose, new, living bone is formed, which helps build healthier, stronger bones. Physical activity performed during exercise also improves blood circulation in the joints, making them more mobile. Reduce friction.
  8. Improve mood and reduce stress. Doing planks, like any other exercise, promotes the release of neurochemically active endorphins. Endorphins improve mood and create feelings of joy, and also help relieve stress. This pose can also relieve tension, because the body is given the opportunity to stretch while doing this exercise.

Judging by the number of pluses 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 starts to "fall apart, " you should stop, rest, and try again in the next set or day.

Correct execution technique

correct board technique

The algorithm for performing the movement is very simple, but nevertheless, pay attention to the little things, learn how to stand on the bar correctly, competent technique is the key to success.

  • Lie on your stomach. Place your elbows on the floor at shoulder level. Place your forearms on the floor. The bent arm should form a 90 degree angle. Straighten your legs and now rest on the tips of your feet and forearms. Feet can be placed together or spread hip-width apart. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders.
  • Tighten and straighten your entire body. Your body from head to toe should be in a straight line.
  • Do not bend the spine, do not lift the pelvis;
  • Tighten the press;
  • Breathing is balanced and calm.

There are many types of this exercise. But if you master the technique of performing the classic plank, then there will be no problems with other options.

Common Mistakes

  • Raise your pelvis above head level. The position of the blade is violated. What caused this? This is the most common error. People often feel tempted to elevate their hips as this will allow them to hold the pose longer. The problem is that when you lift your hips up, most of the weight 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. Overloaded neck muscles. When performing, the neck should be kept in a neutral position - the head should not fall or rise higher. Imagine that your head and neck are part of a straight line drawn by the rest of your body. When your neck is not on this line and your head is down or up, you are more likely to feel pain in your upper back or neck.
  • Raise your elbows to the sides, connect your fingers to the lock and lower your head below the desired level. As a result, the shoulders are less involved, bringing blood to the head. If you hold each other's hands, this will reduce the effectiveness of the pose. When your hands are holding each other, the abdominal muscles work less. Always keep your arms apart, extend them in a straight line from the elbows, keeping your hands on the floor.
  • Deflection in the lower back. If you continue to pose with such mistakes, you can get problems with your lower back. When you arch your back, your body weight stops loading the muscles, instead, the spine and the connections between them hold the weight. This error causes pain in the lower back. Correct the error by slightly twisting the pelvis. This will keep your back straight. It is also useful for toning the buttocks.
  • Her hips are too low. If your hips are too low, your entire body weight will be on your lower spine, even though your torso muscles have to work. It seems 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 over. People sometimes make this mistake to compensate for a weak body. This error allows people with weak bodies to hold the pose longer, because of the excessive strain on the back, neck, and shoulder muscles. To correct this error, move your shoulders down, away from your ears. The trapezius and middle back muscles (upper back muscles) should be tightened to prevent the back from rounding.

Beginner Tips

board tips for beginners

Do the exercise on a yoga mat or towel so the hard floor doesn't irritate your elbows. Before exercising, warm up by stretching or doing some simple exercises for three minutes. The first days, stood at the bar for only 20 seconds. This is enough for a beginner. To make the exercise easier, place your feet hip-width apart.

Even if in this position you feel less confident, do it from your knees.

After a few days, as the muscles become stronger, complicate the bars from the knees by straightening one leg and holding it with weight. Stay like this for 30 seconds, then change legs. After completing the exercise, we recommend taking a reply - the pose of a child. This will relieve tension and relax the core muscles.

Is it possible to do bars during menstruation?

Definitely yes. During menstruation, you can do many things, especially exercise. Some young women may use critical days as an excuse not to study, but to lie on the couch, flip through the glass, buy some cake. But you won't. If during this period you experience a catastrophic decline in strength and mood, then it is better to slow down with training. And if critical days are not so important to you, then stand on health standards.

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

how long do you need to do planks to lose weight

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

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

Remember that the main thing is technique. Better to stand for 20 seconds with perfect form than 40 seconds with an arched lower back.

Plank every day, but allow one day a week to rest.

But you need to understand that it all depends on the capabilities of your body. Starting to train and evaluate your strengths, you will be able to choose the best options and times, and you will stand in this position with the benefits of health and pleasure.

When it is better to do planks for weight loss is up to you. After all, it's great because it takes up nothing but your body and a little space. Exercise can be done in the morning, afternoon, and afternoon, but should not be done immediately after eating and before going to bed.

How to stay on the board longer

how to stay on the board longer

Regular training will allow you to stand on the bar longer and more technically. But another point is also important:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothes. Make yourself comfortable in this sense. You shouldn't be bothered by cutting the shoulder straps on the top or slipping sneakers.
  • A soft enough mat or towel will allow you to stay in the pose longer. After all, the pain of a hard floor, felt in the elbow, can make you give up earlier.
  • Ventilated room. You need oxygen.
  • Turn on the music.
  • Keep silent, turn off your phone, be careful not to be accidentally disturbed.
  • Mentally self-motivated. The words: "My body is working, muscles are getting stronger, I am more beautiful! "worked well.
  • Warm up before exercising.
  • Use a stopwatch. When you see how the seconds increase, it's motivating.

Popular board options: techniques, nuances and differences


classic board for weight loss

You should rest on your toes and forearms. The arms are bent at the elbows at a 90 degree angle, the forearms are parallel to each other. Your body from head to toe is a straight line. Tighten your buttocks and legs. Do not lower your pelvis, do not raise or lower your head. Breathe evenly.

Full arm or straight

straight arm board

Straighten your arms and lift your hips, keeping your hands on the floor. This plank may even seem easier to some people with a more developed upper body. This variation will make the shoulder more stable than the classic. The fingers should be wide apart and the middle finger should point straight ahead. Rotate the inside of your elbow forward to work your biceps.


side plank for weight loss

Lie on your right side, place your feet on top of each other. Place your right lower elbow directly under your right shoulder and lift your thighs off the floor to create a straight line. You should feel the tension in the waist area. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling or place it on your left thigh. Hold this pose 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, continue to do the same number of reps on each side to make it equally strong.

Lateral with leg lift

side plank with leg lift

When you can hold the side plank for a minute, you can try this variation. Get into a side plank position and, holding that position, lift your upper leg a few inches off the floor, then, tense your muscles, controlling the movement of your leg, lower it back down. Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Lateral by lowering the hips

Standing on a side plank, lower your pelvis down without touching the floor, then return to the starting position. What gives? Increased load on incline.

Full leg lift

full board with raised legs

Start in a full plank position, place your hands on the floor and keep your hips and abs tight. Lift one leg up, squeezing your buttocks. Keep your foot in the air for a few seconds, then move to the other leg and do the same. It is not necessary to lift the leg too high, it is important to stretch it away from you. Do 10 repetitions with each leg.

Come back

upside down bar for weight loss

Sit on the floor. Put your hands on the floor, pull back a little. Lift your pelvis. The palms should be completely under the shoulders. Opara on palms and heels. Tighten your body, it should form a straight line.

in fitball

board for weight loss in fitball

We do the classic plank, but we lift the legs with the help of a fit ball. The ball is under the feet.

Army or dynamic

Start in a basic plank position with your arms on the floor. Now, push first with your right hand, then with your left, moving into a full plank position. After that, lower yourself back to the base position, starting again from the right side. Do 10 reps on each side - 10 reps on the right, then 10 reps on the left.

Rock climber or knee pull

pull the knee board

Start in a full plank position, then tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your right knee toward 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 main thing is the right technique, because that is more important than speed.

With alternating shoulder touches

board with alternating shoulder touches

Start in a full plank position, keeping your hips as stable as possible. Reach with your right hand to your left shoulder. 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 more about bars than ever before, you ask, how many pounds can you lose with the help of exercise? Maybe the answer will disappoint you, but if you don't create a calorie deficit in your diet, then even this 30 day fat burning program won't help you lose weight. This will help strengthen the muscles, making them stronger. If you want to lose weight, start burning more calories than you take in. A simple math rule works for weight loss: if more is gained than lost, all the excess goes to body fat. I wish we could learn how to save money the way our bodies store fat! Do planks by combining them with the following tips:

Useful tips for training and weight loss

Useful tips for training and weight loss
  • Eat eggs for breakfast. Consumption of eggs in the morning has many positive benefits, one of which is to accelerate weight loss. If you replace the bread that many people eat for breakfast with eggs, then you will lose more calories and fat for the day and be fuller.
  • Drink coffee (preferably black). Coffee contains a large number of antioxidants and has many health benefits. The caffeine contained in a cup of coffee speeds up 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 sugars from your diet. Sugar is one of the most dangerous ingredients in the human diet today. Many people consume too much sugar. Studies have shown that sugar and fructose syrup are associated with a strong risk of obesity, as well as diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. If you want to lose weight, then eliminate sugar from your diet. Be careful with labels on packages, even so-called "healthy" foods can contain a lot of sugar.
  • Eat less refined carbohydrates. Refined or refined carbohydrates are found in pasta and white bread. These carbohydrates are usually made from whole grains from which all other nutrients, such as protein and fat, are removed. This type of carbohydrate causes a spike in insulin levels. The insulin spike stimulates hunger and the desire to eat something sweet. Refined carbohydrates are closely related to obesity. If you are going to eat carbs at all, then eat them whole, with natural fiber.
  • Portion control. Portion control or calorie counting are helpful. Counting calories at each meal helps motivate you to lose weight. Anything that lets you know more about your diet will be helpful.
  • Eat more protein. Protein is the most important thing for weight loss. Eating protein-rich foods speeds up metabolism and allows it to burn 100 more calories per day. At the same time, the food itself contains 400 fewer calories than you would normally consume. Also, you will lose the desire to eat at night and cravings for sweets.
  • Add whey protein to your diet. If you find it difficult to add enough protein to your diet, start taking protein powder supplements to get enough protein.
  • Eat "authentic" food. If you want to be a healthy person, you must completely switch to a whole food menu. These foods make you full, it's hard to overeat, and it's very difficult to gain weight on such a diet if most of your food is unprocessed.

Example of daily diet

useful sample menu
  • Breakfast: 2 slices of whole wheat bread + 2 boiled eggs + hot sauce (optional)
  • Snack: 1 cup berries, blueberries, for example + handful of nuts;
  • Lunch: 100 g of salmon + avocado + 1 whole wheat toast + 1 glass of vegetables;
  • Afternoon snack: broccoli and cauliflower + 2 tablespoons unsweetened yogurt;
  • Dinner: 130 g lean steak + boiled carrots + Brussels sprouts + 1 tablespoon olive oil;
  • And in the evening (perhaps for an hour) 150 g of cottage cheese (of course, without sugar).

What else can you do to lose weight faster?

Aerobic exercise

Doing aerobic (cardio) exercise is a great way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health. Cardio is very effective at getting rid of belly fat, the unhealthy fat that builds up around the 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. Therefore, strength training is very important.

High intensity interval training

By not spending a lot of time exercising, you'll speed up your metabolism, increase your stamina, and burn extra calories.

The board develops a sense of balance and trains willpower and character. Standing in it every day for a few seconds longer and not letting yourself give up, you build your character and become stronger. Perhaps this exercise will be the start of a beautiful athletic body that you will be proud of.