Planking is my favorite exercise for building strength in your stabilizing muscles. It can be performed anywhere. This exercise works your abs, back and muscle stabilizers. I include planks in almost every session I teach now, I simply modify planks depending on my client and strength level.

Planks, when done with good form and for the appropriate amount of time are not easy. It requires focus and commitment to the exercise. If you are new to planking you can start with a 20 second plank and work toward a five minute or more plank! I used to worry that planking for a long time may not be good for your low back and shoulders, but after learning from some expert physical therapists, I now know it is fine as long as you have good form and do not sink into your shoulders and lower back. If you are learning to plank for the first time I would rather see your booty hiked a little bit rather than sinking…

Jill Hinson Plank

Top Benefits for Planking:

1. Planking works your upper abs, your lower abs, your obliques, your transverse abdominis and your low back.

2. It builds your stabilizing muscles.

3. Builds strength and concentration on good form for push ups.

4. Promotes good posture and helps prevent back injuries.

5. Teaches your abs to stay contracted in a regular standing position.

6. The options for progressions are endless.

7. Planks promote optimal functional core strength.

8. You will love the look of your abs!  


Check out the current issue (May 2014)  of SHAPE Magazine. I am in a full page TRX Suspension Training ad from a tree…PLANKING!

Jill Hinson in SHAPE Magazine

Jill Hinson Shape Magazine

Take note that your elbows or wrist (depending on the plank you choose) should be lined up under your shoulders. My photos can be misleading since I was planking from areas that were uneven.

We all know the core is important and with this exercise you work all of these muscles: Erector spinae, abdominals, transverse abdominis, trapezius, rhomboids, rotator cuffs, deltoid (shoulders), pec major, serratus anterior, gluteus maximus (booty), quadriceps, gastrocnemius (calf muscles). So don’t complain about having to plank! You should look forward to it because you are building  great strength! Track your progress and see just how far you can get in one month! There are  plank challenges available to you. Healthy Life Focus offers a free 30 Day Plank Challenge calendar to guide you and log your progress. Good luck and plank away!

Healthy Please XOXO,


1 comment

  • Alicia May 04, 2014 at 17:41

    I love this post! You are so right, planking can be as challenging as one wants it to be. You’re making me want to challenge myself more. And I love your pics!


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