Sydney-based personal trainer, yoga coach and health journalist, Cassie White is the epitome of wellness. As a teacher, she spends everyday inspiring herself and others, grounded by a philosophy of self-encouragement because, as she puts it, “life’s too short not to love yourself silly.”
With a long list of qualifications including AIF Master Trainer, Bachelor of Journalism, Strala Yoga guide New York City and Purna Yoga teacher Byron Bay, to name a few, she has a wealth of experience and expertise. Here she shares with us some professional know-how on mastering the art of planking.
When done correctly, the plank is amazing for toning your abs, butt, legs and arms. Here’s how to get the most out of a simple exercise that you can do anywhere, any time.
5 steps to the perfect plank
Image credit: Jason Lee
It’s best to do this in front of a mirror so you can see your alignment.
- Begin on your knees with your forearms resting on the ground. Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders, your wrists in line with your elbows and your palms flat.
2. Push your forearms and hands into the floor and lift your torso until your shoulderblades flatten across your back. Keep holding this position the entire time to prevent your shoulders collapsing in.
3. Walk your knees backwards until your back and hips form one straight line.
4. Avoid dipping through your lower back by bringing your pelvis and bottom ribs towards each other – your belly button will move towards your spine. Tuck your chin in a little to keep length in the back of your neck.
5. Keeping this perfect technique, tuck your toes and lift one knee of the ground, straightening your leg, without moving your hips or shoulders. When you feel steady, lift the other. Your feet should be together.
The entire time, keep pressing your hands and forearms into the ground, have your tailbone tucked and squeeze your butt and thighs. If you’re shaking, you’re doing it right!
Begin by holding for 30 seconds. Once you can do that, build up to 45 seconds, then a minute. If you can get to two minutes with awesome technique, you’re basically Wonder Woman.