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How to Plank with Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen certainly knows what it means to be fit and healthy due to his professional rugby career throughout the 90s and 00s. Although his rugby days are now behind him, Ben continues to focus on his health and fitness as he fully understands the importance of exercise for the mind and body. Instead of being a slave to the gym, Ben prefers to keep his workout as hassle-free as possible and performs many relatively basic exercises from the comfort of his own home.

Core strength has always been a key focus for Ben as it can help to prevent injury and enables him to feel the benefits in everyday movements. Planking is a great exercise for building up core strength, but it is important to engage your core to ensure you are exercising the correct muscles and ensure you carry out this exercise move correctly. Read on below to discover some top planking tips from Ben.

How to engage your core:

Start by adopting the correct posture: sit tall with your chest lifted and shoulders back – your spine should naturally curve inwards towards your lower back. Your deep abdominal core muscles are usually around your middle, just inside your pelvic bones and just below the top of your briefs. Gently draw these muscles in so that your stomach feels tight but do not overbrace. Your core muscles are now engaged and it’s essential that they remain engaged throughout these exercises. Remember to breathe normally throughout the process.

How to perform a perfect plank:

  • Get into a press-up style position on the floor – no equipment is needed.

  • Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.

  • Elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders.

  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.

  • Hold the position for as long as you can.

Planking tips from the top:

  • Practice, practice and more practice. Planks are a lot harder than they look as they require great core strength. Try holding for 20 seconds at first, then 30 and so on.

  • Keep your back straight and don’t curve your spine.

  • Mix planks up with other exercises – planks aren’t the most exciting exercise in the world, so don’t be afraid to mix them up in-between other exercises rather than doing all your planks together in one set.

  • Perform side planks to keep things interesting – just as you feel you can’t do the standard plank anymore, try doing some side planks to provide some welcome relief whilst still strengthening your core.

  • Don’t be over ambitious – as a beginner to planking you shouldn’t try and hold the position for too long. Instead, set an achievable target and work up to an end goal over the course of the following weeks/ months.

Happy planking!



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