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How Long Can You Hold A Plank For?

Categories: Exercise, Goals

This is a great question and one that loads of clients ask. 

Its like the holy grail of training, everybody wants to know how long you can Plank for. 

Being able to Plank is a great exercise when used correctly. It works your abs, glutes, lower back, legs, you name it every muscle in your body. You know when you've been holding it for a long time that every bit of your body starts to ache.

However rather than looking at how long you can Plank for and trying to beat the next person, use it as a part of your training as you do with everything else. Start small and gradually build it up. You'll then notice the time you're able to hold a plank for will increase. 

The key is making sure your form and technique are perfect throughout the action. If you feel and aches or pains that don't feel normal stop and have a look at your technique, if you need to have a friend check it too. 

In this video I go through the technique of the plank and give you a couple of variations to try. 



Start on your forearms and your knees, this will take any pressure off your lower back. You want to make sure your shoulders, hips and heels are in a straight line. Keep your head over your forearms and brace your abs. 


Position yourself on your forearms and toes, again make sure your head is inline with your forearms and your back is flat, so you have the straight line between your shoulders, hips and heels. Brace your body as you raise up and hold the position. 

If your hips start to raise and your body makes a V shape, stop. It's your body's way of cheating and trying to make it easier for you. On the same principle if your lower back starts to sag and drop down, stop. Your core isn't strong enough yet and you'll end up injuring yourself and get lower back pain. 

How Long To Hold a Plank For

Start by holding the plank for 10 seconds. You can repeat this for 3 sets and gradually increase you're training from there. 

When you're getting to 30 seconds and repeating for 3 sets you're doing an amazing job, is can then be built to 60 seconds as you progress the exercise. 

Is there a benefit to holding a long Plank? 

Not really. You're body gets to a limit and you know you've worked hard. I find it much better to practise an exercise and then adapt it. You could try these plank variations to add in variety to your training and challenge your body more.

  • Side Plank
  • Spiderman Plank
  • Rocking Plank
  • Side Plank and Thread
  • TRX Plank