Planks are one of the most effective core workouts out there, but they are often done wrong.

A plank should NEVER be easy and if you can hold a plank for much more than 1 minute then the chances are you aren't doing them as well as you should or could.

A plank should be active and you should create such tension that you will be cooked after just 30 seconds to a minute.

To do this, set up in the position below - which looks simple from a still picture and as a spectator. To make it more effective and more challenging here's what you need to do.

Without moving your elbows, push down into the ground and then think about trying to tear the floor open with your forearms. Actively squeeze your core and glutes tight. Keep your legs straight and strong. Ensure your body is in one straight line ("plank" - hints in the name) from your head to your toes. Do not have your bum too high or too low so you are sagging in your lower back. Keep everything active and tense while breathing steadily and not holding your breath!

Once you have nailed your plank. Try this challenge.

Do as many rounds as you can with as little or as much rest as you need. Always ensure good form. If this is compromised, stop!

Share with a friend and let me know how you get on!

Email me directly if you need any advice or modifications for the above exercises or if you would like more information regarding my online training programs or 1:1 personal training.