The plank is a powerful exercise for developing core stability and strength. A strong set of core muscles will help you in almost any other type of exercise including running and sport because it trains you to hold yourself in a more stable way. You develop strength through the exercise because you are holding the muscle groups against gravity and in dynamic opposition with each other. The plank can be difficult to do at first, but as you get into your stride, you’ll think about how to do the plank for longer in order to get more benefits.
There are two main components that impact on how to do the plank for longer. The first is physical strength. That part is pretty easy to train. The more frequently you plank, the more basic strength you’ll get in your muscles, and the more physical stamina you’ll build for the exercise.
The second thing part of the question of how to do the plank for longer is the mental aspect. This exercise HURTS. You feel pain through your core muscle groups of abdominals and hip flexors that develops quickly and can make you quit. Here’s our tips on how to train your mind to let you do the plank for longer:
Don’t look at your stop watch
Avoiding knowing the time lets you quit when you hit certain time milestones. Don’t look, just hold it for longer (but stop the clock when you finish so you can track your progress)
Divert your attention
If you’re not thinking about pain, you won’t allow yourself to dwell on it. Place a book or magazine between your arms and focus on the words on the page. You’ll have a very effective distraction.
Divert your attention 2
Listen to a piece of music. Choose something inspiring that you enjoy, and lose yourself in it. The average song lasts for more than 3 minutes – if you can hold it that long, you’re doing well.
Count downwards. Slowly.
Counting down aims your attention at a specific goal (0), so you don’t have a choice about stopping. Counting up is unlimited – you stop whenever, and make excuses that you’ve done enough. Set your target and stick to it. You’ll thank yourself later.
Every time you plank, you’ll get stronger. It’s an exercise that really rewards commitment and training, and you’ll quickly feel the benefits in terms of strength, but also in terms of definition of your abs, and your waist size.