Men may laugh at the plank exercise, which looks deceptively simple, until they’ve tried to hold the position for a couple of minutes and realize how effective and challenging it can actually be. Well worth the effort, plank exercises work your abdominals, lower back, shoulders and glutes and can help men prepare for weightlifting when incorporated into a warm-up. The basic plank is the first exercise to master before moving on to more difficult modifications; practice the plank and soon you’ll have a whole new arsenal of moves to power up your abs.
Position yourself on all fours on the floor. Bend your elbows and lay your forearms on the floor, parallel to each other, palms down. Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders and not out to the side, which can place too much stress on your shoulders and lead to injuries.
Tuck your toes under, pull your stomach in toward your spine and lift your knees so that your legs are extended and there is a straight line from your head to your feet. Your hips should be the same height as your shoulders and slightly tuck your tailbone under to avoid having your butt sticking up in the air, which will throw your alignment off.
Balance your weight between your feet and shoulders. Men tend to be stronger in the upper body than in their legs and it can be easy for them to place most of their weight on their shoulders, but that could cause too much stress and throw their alignment off or lead to injuries.
Hold the plank pose for one to two minutes, eventually working your way up to two-minute sets. Complete three to five sets total.