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, tighten the stomach, make it flat, strengthen the muscles of the shoulders and glutes, the plank will help you.

Is it hard to believe that doing one exercise a day can improve your strength, figure, mood and more? But it's true! This pose has many positive effects on your body. Although it's not the easiest exercise to do, doing it regularly will give you lifelong benefits.

In yoga, the plank pose or Phalakasana is a pose for building strength, as it tenses all the major muscles of the torso, as well as the shoulders, strengthens the neck, back muscles, buttocks and quadriceps and abs. . The plank is also known as the isometric position. It contracts the muscles, forcing them to hold a predetermined position. You stand in the bar and your body works.

It's the most popular exercise in any fitness program, and it doesn't require machines, equipment, free weights, and a gym. All you need is your body, your desire and your perseverance, and you can do it even at home!

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

A seemingly simple balance exercise only looks like it. After standing in the bar for a minute, you will realize that time does not pass so quickly. 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 do. Now about everything in order.

Useful properties of the bar for health and weight loss

Benefits of planks for health and weight loss

Exercise not only tightens muscles, but also has preventive and curative effects against certain diseases. The effect is guaranteed with the systematic implementation of the exercise. The 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;
  • stimulate blood circulation;
  • speed up metabolism;
  • burn calories.

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

What muscles work

what muscles work when the plank

When performing the standard (classic) barbell, the following muscles work:

  • Straight and transverse abdominal muscles;
  • Biceps, triceps, deltoid;
  • Lumbar paravertebral muscles;
  • Biceps, quadriceps thighs and calves;
  • Buttock muscles;
  • Back and chest muscles.

Advantageous features

  1. Strengthens the muscles of the torso. When trying to build core strength, this pose is the most beneficial as it targets all muscle groups in your abs. . . and you thought there were only abs on abs? The plank works not only the abdominals, but also the stabilizer muscles, as well as the side abdominal muscles, which are responsible for the position of the hips and the spinal muscles.
  2. The muscles become more pronounced. The plank also loads the muscles of the shoulders, chest, legs and back. They will grow too. The functionality of this pose, combined with isometric tension, helps muscles throughout the body "dry out" and become more pronounced.
  3. Speeds up metabolism. Muscle strength and mass, which increase with proper exercise, have another great property, in addition to increased strength and a good figure - an accelerated metabolism! When you increase your muscle mass, you speed up your resting metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories.
  4. Prevents back pain. As your abdominal muscles get stronger, your body has to rely less on your back muscles to maintain your posture. Instead of the back muscles, the torso muscles now work, which are used for all exercises and work, which reduces the risk of back pain.
  5. Your posture improves. Improved posture is most often achieved by building health and strength in the back and torso muscles. When you adopt the plank position, the muscles in your back, neck, shoulders, and abdominal muscles work to organically hold your body in position.
  6. Improved co-ordination. Maintaining the posture isometric stimulates improved coordination and balance in general. If you learn to perform the plank skillfully, you will also be able to maintain an upright posture more effectively and consistently.
  7. Improves joint and bone health. The board allows 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 bones are created, which helps build healthier and stronger bones. The physical activity performed during exercise also improves blood circulation in the joints, making them more mobile. Reduces friction.
  8. Improves mood and reduces stress. Performing the plank, like any other exercise, promotes the release of endorphin, a neurochemically active compound. Endorphin improves mood and creates a feeling of joy, and also helps relieve stress. This pose can also relieve tension because the body has the opportunity to stretch when you do this exercise.

Judging by the number of advantages 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 "break down", you should stop, take a break and try again the next set or the next day.

Correct execution technique

good plank technique

The algorithm for performing the movement is very simple, but nevertheless, pay attention to the little things, learn how to stand correctly on the bar, 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 arms should form a 90 degree angle. Straighten your legs and now support yourself on the toes of the feet and on the forearms. Feet can be placed together or hip-width apart. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders.
  • Tighten and straighten your whole body. Your body from head to toe should be in one straight line.
  • Do not bend the spine, do not lift the pelvis;
  • Tighten the press;
  • Breathing is regular and calm.

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

Common Mistakes

  • Raise the pelvis above head level. The very position of the bar is violated. What does this lead to? This is the most common mistake. People are often tempted to raise their hips because it will allow them to hold the pose longer. The problem is that when you raise your hips, most of the load 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 your shoulders.
  • Deviation in the cervical region. Overworked neck muscles. When performing, the neck should be kept in a neutral position - the head should neither fall nor rise higher. Imagine that your head and neck are part of a straight line created by the rest of your body. When the neck is not on this line and the head is down or up, you are more likely to experience upper back or neck pain.
  • Raise the elbows to the side, connect the fingers in the lock and lower the head below the desired level. As a result, the shoulders are less strained, rushing the blood to the head. If you keep your hands on top of each other, it will reduce the effectiveness of the pose. When your hands are holding each other, the abdominal muscles work less. Always keep your arms wide apart, extending them in a straight line from your elbows, keeping your hands on the floor.
  • Deviation in the lower back. If you continue to stand in a pose with such an error, you may have problems with your lower back. When you arch your back, your body weight stops loading the muscles, instead the vertebrae and the connections between them hold the load. This error leads to pain in the lower back. Correct the error by slightly rotating the pelvis. This will make your back straight. It is also useful for tightening the buttocks.
  • The hips are too low. If your hips drop too low, all of your body weight will rest on your lower vertebrae, although your core muscles have to work. It seems that it is 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. People sometimes make this mistake to compensate for a weak torso. The error allows people with weak torsos to hold a pose longer, due to excessive tension in the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders. To correct this mistake, move your shoulders down, away from your ears. The trapezius muscles and the muscles of the middle of the back (upper back muscles) must be tightened to prevent the back from rounding.

Tips for beginners

board tips for beginners

Perform the exercise on a yoga mat or towel so that the hard floor does not interfere with your elbows. Before exercising, warm up by stretching or doing a few simple exercises for three minutes. For the first few days, stand in the bar for only 20 seconds. That's enough for a beginner. To make the exercise easier, place your feet hip-width apart.

If even in this position you don't feel quite confident, do it on your knees.

After a few days, when the muscles are getting stronger, complicate the barbell from the knees, straightening one leg and holding it in weight. Stay like this for 30 seconds, then switch legs. After completing the exercise, we recommend taking balasana - a child's pose. This will relieve tension and relax the core muscles.

Is it possible to barbell during menstruation

Definitely yes. During menstruation, you can do many things, including sports. Some young women may use critical days as an excuse not to study, but to lie on the couch, leaf through some gloss, treat themselves to a few cookies. But you won't. If during this period you have a catastrophic drop in strength and mood, it is better to slow down with training. And if critical days aren't so critical for you, then stand on the bar for health.

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

how long should you plank to lose weight

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

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

Remember that the main thing is the technique. It's better to stand for 20 seconds with perfect form than 40 seconds with your lower back arched.

Plank every day, but leave one day a week for rest.

But you need to understand that it all depends on the capabilities of your body. By starting to train and assessing your strength, you will be able to choose the best option and the best time, and you will stand in this position with health benefits and with pleasure.

When it's best to do the plank for weight loss is up to you. After all, it's good because it requires nothing but your body and some space. Exercise can be done in the morning, evening and during the day, but you should not do it immediately after eating and just before bedtime.

How to stay on the board longer

how to stay plank longer

Regular training will keep you standing in the bar longer and more technically. But other points are also important:

  • Comfortable shoes and clothes. Make yourself comfortable in that sense. You don't have to be distracted by the cutting top strap or the slippery sneakers.
  • A fairly soft mat or towel that will keep you in the pose longer. After all, the pain of a hard floor, felt in the elbow, can cause you to give up in anticipation.
  • Ventilated room. You need oxygen.
  • Put on some music.
  • Stay quiet, turn off your phone, be careful not to be inadvertently distracted.
  • Motivate yourself mentally. Words: "My body is working, my muscles are getting stronger, I'm becoming more beautiful! " works very well.
  • Do a warm-up before exercising.
  • Use a stopwatch. When you see how the seconds increase, it motivates.

Popular Board Options: Technique, Shades, and Differences


classic plank for weight loss

You should support yourself on your toes and on your forearms. The arms are bent at the elbows at an angle of 90 degrees, the forearms are parallel to each other. Your body from head to toe is a straight line. Contract the muscles of the buttocks and legs. Do not lower your pelvis or raise or lower your head. Breathing is regular.

Full or straight arms

straight arm board

Straighten your arms and raise your hips, keeping your hands on the floor. This plank may even seem easier for some people who have a more developed upper body. This variety will make the shoulders more stable than the classic. The fingers should be spread apart and the middle finger should point straight ahead. Rotate the inside of your elbow forward to engage your biceps.


side plank for weight loss

Lie on your right side with your feet on top of each other. Place your lower right elbow directly under your right shoulder and lift your thigh off the ground to create a straight line. You should feel some tension around your waist. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling or place it on your left thigh. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then repeat the same with the other left side of the body. If you feel like one side of your body is stronger than the other, keep doing the same number of reps on each side to make them equally strong.

Lateral with leg elevation

side plank with leg raise

When you can hold the side plank for a minute, you can try this variation. Stand up in a side plank position and, holding the position, lift your top leg a few inches off the ground, then, contracting your muscles, controlling the movement of your leg, lower it back. Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Lateral with lowering of the hips

Standing in a side plank, lower your pelvis without touching the floor, then return to the starting position. Which give? Increased load on oblique.

Full leg lift

full plank with leg lifts

Start in a full plank position, resting your hands on the floor and keeping your hips and abs tight. Raise one leg, squeezing your buttocks. Keep your leg up for a few seconds, then switch to the other leg and do the same. It is not necessary to lift your legs very high, it is important to keep them away from you. Do 10 repetitions with each leg.


inverted bar for weight loss

Sit down on the floor. Put your hands on the floor, bringing them back a little. Raise your pelvis. The palms should be strictly below the shoulders. Opara on palms and heels. Tighten your body, it should form a straight line.

About fitball

plank to lose weight on fitball

We do the classic plank, but we raise our legs with a fitball. The ball is under the feet.

Army or dynamic

Start in a basic plank position with your forearms on the floor. Now, pushing first with your right hand, then with your left, move into a full plank position. After that, come back to the basic position, again starting from the right side. Do 10 reps on each side - 10 reps on the right, then 10 reps on the left.

Climber or knee pull

plank knee pull

Start in a full plank position, then squeeze your abdominal muscles and pull your right knee toward your chest using your lower abdominal muscles. Bring the right leg back 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 quickly or slowly, the main thing is the right technique, because it is more important than speed.

With alternating shoulder touches

plank with alternate shoulder touches

Start in a full plank position, keeping your hips as stable as possible. Reach your left shoulder with your right hand. Return your right hand to its original position, then touch your right shoulder with your left hand. Keep repeating this exercise 20 to 30 times.

But now that you know a lot more about the barbell than before, you wonder how many kilograms can you lose weight 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 plan won't help you lose weight. This will help strengthen the muscles, make them stronger. If you want to lose weight, start burning more calories than you consume. A simple mathematical rule applies to weight loss: if there is more gain than loss, all of the excess goes to body fat. I wish we could learn to save money the same way our bodies store fat! Perform the plank by combining it with these tips:

Useful tips for training and weight loss

useful tips for training and weight loss
  • Eat eggs for breakfast. Eating eggs in the morning has many positive properties, one of which is accelerated weight loss. If you replace the bread that many people eat for breakfast with eggs, you will lose more calories and fat for that day and feel more full.
  • Drink coffee (preferably black). Coffee contains a huge amount of antioxidants and has many health benefits. The caffeine contained in a cup of coffee speeds up the metabolism by 3 to 11%. But sugar or other high calorie ingredients should not be added to coffee as this completely negates its benefits.
  • Eliminate hidden sugar from your diet. Sugar is one of the most harmful ingredients in today's human diet. Many people consume too much sugar. Studies have shown that sugar and fructose syrup are associated with a high risk of obesity, as well as diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. If you want to lose weight, cut sugar from your diet. Pay attention to the labels on the packaging, even so-called "healthy" foods can contain a lot of sugar.
  • Eat fewer processed carbohydrates. Refined or processed carbohydrates are found in pasta and white bread. These carbs are usually made from grains that have had all other nutrients, such as protein and fat, removed. These types of carbs cause spikes in insulin levels. Insulin surges stimulate hunger and the desire to eat something sweet. Refined carbohydrates are closely associated with obesity. If you're going to eat carbs, then eat them whole, with natural fiber.
  • Portion control. Portion control or calorie counting is very helpful. Counting calories at every 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 the metabolism and allows it to burn 100 more calories per day. At the same time, the food itself contains 400 calories less than what you normally consume. Also, you will lose the urge to eat in the evening and the cravings for sweets.
  • Add whey protein to your diet. If you find it difficult to add enough protein to your diet, start taking a protein powder supplement to get enough protein.
  • Eat "real" food. If you want to be a healthy person, you have to switch completely to a whole food menu. These foods fill you up, are hard to overeat, and very hard to gain weight on such a diet if most of your food is unprocessed.

Sample Daily Diet

useful menu example
  • Breakfast: 2 slices of wholemeal bread + 2 boiled eggs + hot sauce (optional)
  • Snack: 1 cup of berries, blueberries for example + a handful of nuts;
  • Lunch: 100 g of salmon + avocado + 1 wholemeal bread + 1 glass of greens;
  • Afternoon snack: broccoli and cauliflower + 2 tablespoons unsweetened yogurt;
  • Dinner: 130g lean steak + carrot compote + Brussels sprouts + 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • And in the evening (possible 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 particularly effective at eliminating belly fat, the unhealthy fat that accumulates around organs and causes disease.

strength training

This will speed up your metabolism and prevent you from losing muscle mass. Of course, it's important not only to lose fat, but also to gain muscle. Therefore, strength training is essential.

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 more seconds and not allowing yourself to give up, you build character and grow stronger. Maybe this exercise will be the start of a beautiful, athletic body you'll be proud of.