24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Gone are the days when planking was done as a game challenge.

Planking, or the Lying Down Game, is an activity consisting of lying face down, sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location.

Thankfully, this 'game' has evolved into something very useful; A workout routine.

As with every case of evolution, there are always stragglers who do not handle change very well, and in this case, do not plank effectively.

Read on for 5 commonly made planking mistakes and how to correct them.

The Mistake: Collapsing the lower back.
The Fix: Instead of compromising the lower back by dipping the bum, engage the core by imagining your belly button pulling in toward the spine. This will help keep the torso flat, and in turn, the spine safe. If you want to get super technical, have a friend gently place a broomstick or yardstick on your back, the top of the stick should make contact with the head, and the bottom of the stick should rest between the buttocks. The stick should also make contact right between the shoulder blades for proper alignment.

The Mistake: Reaching the butt to the sky.
The Fix: Planks aren’t supposed to look like a downward dog. To really get the core working the way it should in the plank position, keep your back flat enough so your abs feel engaged from top (right below the sternum) to bottom (directly below the belt). Just don’t dip the tush too far toward the ground.

The Mistake: Letting the Head Drop
The Fix: While the focus may be on keeping the hips, butt, and back in the proper position, form isn’t only about the core and the lower body in this move. It’s important to think of the head and neck as an extension of your back. Keep your eyes on the floor, letting them rest about a foot in front of the hands, which will help keep the neck in a neutral position.

The Mistake: Forgetting to breathe.
The Fix: It’s human nature to hold your breath when in a strenuous position for a period of time. But denying yourself oxygen can bring on dizziness or nausea, which are unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst.

The Mistake: Focusing too much on the stopwatch.
The Fix: Quality trumps the quantity of seconds ticking away when it comes to the plank. When your form begins to suffer, it’s time to call it quits. If the back begins to bow or the shoulders start to sink in, take a break.

Just in case you still have your doubts about exactly how planks work, watch this video on how to do a plank.

You will not be making these common mistakes after all and thats a plus!

How to do a plank

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.