Tips to Improve Your Plank Hold Time and Build Your Core

Just got in this question from one of our athletes who is doing the SGPT Plank Challenge.

Coach, do you have any tips to help me improve my plank hold time and help build up my core?

Check out the tips below and you will be able to improve your core strength in just a few days of workouts.

When we talk about plank here we are referring to the up part of the pushup position (arms straight).

See the photo above for reference.

TIP #1
Beginners may want to start out on their elbows – that is fine.

If you start out with plank on elbows then try to move to the pushup position (arms straight).

If you get tired in the arms straight position go back to plank on elbows.

You can alternate back and forth by going from hands to elbow and you will feel the burn on your triceps.

Always use a timer so that you can come back later and improve your time.

TIP #2
We are working to build discipline and consistency.

Start day 1 with 10 seconds. The next day do 20 seconds.

If you want to increase this then space out your plank workouts.

If you do 20 seconds in the evening then add 20 seconds in the morning.

You can make this like a Pavel Pushup workout where you do 30 seconds every time you pass a door.

Don’t say you don’t have time to workout as everyone has 30 seconds (or a minute in this case.

TIP #3
Slowly add weight.

This can be an extra water bottle and gear in your ruck.

You could add a weight vest if you have one.

Or you could really kick @ss and have your kids load up on your back.

Either way do this gradually. Don’t go from zero to¬†adding a 45 lb weight plate in one day.

TIP #4
Take a local yoga class as you will get into all sorts of variety of plank positions.

One of those positions will be side plank.

You can make this harder by lifting your hand towards the sky and raising your outer leg also.

If you cannot raise the leg then just work on holding in the side position.

You can go down to the side elbow position if needed to rest or just go back to regular plank or to your elbows.

Over a period of time you want to keep moving your top foot and hand higher.

The photo to the left shows the side plank hold in full extension.

Yes; this is an advanced athlete but it shows you that you have room to grow in pushing the side move.

If you follow the progressions below you will eventually get to this position.

TIP #5

There are more advanced forms of plank (star plank) where you begin to bring your hands and legs as far out as you can.

 

You can start by bringing your hands and legs a few inches apart.

Slowly over the next few weeks you can increase the distance further and further until you match the position in the photo above.

I like to try the star position for 10 seconds then rest a minute then go to 15 seconds.

Question: I have been doing plank for a few weeks now and really want to see my abs pop out like a six pack? How can i do that?

Answer: Getting your abs to show will be entirely up to your diet. If you get rid of excess sugar and processed carbs you will begin to burn away excess fat. Get rid of pizza, beer, white bread and ice cream and you will see fat melt away. I will eat a green salad for lunch and also use Athletic Greens to supplement my diet while I am working on getting lean.

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