• 3 Top Plank Mistakes

3 Top Plank Mistakes

If you really want to feel the burn in your stomach during a plank, get rid of these three common mistakes.

Mistake #1

Raised butt and back

You don’t want your butt and hips to be in the air. You want to lean your body INTO the plank, not away. When you lean your body into the plank, your face will be slightly above your hands. This is the promise land where you feel the most burn. If you pull away from the plank, you’ll allow your butt to raise and you’ll lose its full benefit.


Mistake #2

Sunken butt and back

When you let your back and stomach sink to the ground, you lose the entire purpose of doing a plank. Fight the burn and keep your stomach pulled inward. Keep your back and hips level and parallel to the floor.


Mistake #3

The final culprit is an overly arched back:

Everyone has a natural arch in the back, but when planking and doing most ab work, you want to train yourself to pull your stomach inward and slightly tuck your butt in. This hallow position activates your stomach muscles and changes the shape of your back from arched or dipped to engaged and level. Keep trying to pull your stomach in deeper and deeper. Once you learn how to use your core, you’ll be able to make sure your stomach muscles do most of the work during the plank instead of allowing yourself to compensate. This is important for people who feel pain/discomfort in their lower back when planking.


To train your stomach the right way during a plank, follow these three tips:

Tip #1:

Actively pull your belly button and lower core inward until you eliminate the arch in your back. There should be no space between your back and the floor.

Tip #2:

Lean into the burn! Don’t pull away and stick your butt in the air. Your face should be slightly above your hands.

Tip #3:

Plank for long enough! Train yourself to be able to hold a 2-minute plank without stopping. If you keep stopping every couple of seconds, you lose the effect. Once you’re able to hold two minutes without breaking, its time to turn it up. Plank with a weighted plate on your back (start with 10lbs then work your way up to 20-45lbs), then do one-legged planks where one leg is raised in the air. Finally, learn to plank on BOSU and stability balls. Your stomach will be on fire! But these plank progressions are one of the best ways to train the stomach.


Read my post on “Plank Progressions”

Comments (30)
  1. Emily says:

    These are excellent tips! Improper alignment totally loses the effect!

  2. luisa says:

    I would love to see a picture of proper form! love this post!

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      There is one!

    2. Dave says:

      One of the best tips I’ve heard in making sure your form is correct is to take a broom handle (minus the head) and place it on your back. If your body is aligned as it should be, it will touch the back of your head, in between your shoulder blades and your butt.

      1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

        def gunna try this out!

  3. Marcela says:

    Very useful post. I love how you have explained everything and ofc the right way to do it 😀

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      thank you for reading!

  4. Candace says:

    Haha, I’m probably guilty of number 1 and 2 lol. Thanks for the tips, I’m going to definitely try them out

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      anytime! let me know how it goes!!

  5. Loved these tips, I’m pretty sure I’ve made all the mistakes!

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      im glad! tell me how your next plank goes lol

  6. Jen says:

    Great tips to remember!

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      thank you!

  7. Katie says:

    This post is great – I think I do #3!! I need to work on it!!

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      thank you! you got this.

  8. these are easy to understand and follow thanks I could easily identify my mistakes

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      glad to hear that!

  9. Jobie Medina says:

    When beginning it’s hard to have proper form. I have a bad back and weak stomach muscles. In PT they said these are the best for me. Thank you for showing how to do it proper.

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      anytime Jobie! practice a minute a day. your back and stomach will get strong in no time.

  10. Marina says:

    Awesome! I am always looking for new work out tips and this was so helpful!!! Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      anytime! thank you for the read. tell me how your next plank goes !

  11. Amy says:

    Thank you! I needed these tips!

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      awesome! thanks for the read

  12. Great post and information. You are after my trainers heart, lol! And a 45 minute weighted plank, is brutal; especially at the end of a workout….

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      thank you! super brutal but gotta love it

  13. Danielle says:

    Wonderful tips – planks are such a good exercise!

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      thank you! yeah theyre one of my favs

  14. Chin says:

    Hi! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the good information you’ve got here on this post. I is going to be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

    1. shantelmendez@yahoo.com says:

      thank you! so glad to hear

  15. Hi, your blog is really amazing and informative. Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the “Blogger Recognition Award”. Here is the link to the announcement post: http://www.scribblesnpebbles.com/blogger-recognition-award/

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