fbpx Skip to Content

The Dos & Don’ts of Proper Planking Form

Planks are a great exercise for your core, but make sure you have the proper planking form with this list of dos and don’ts! 

Happy Planktober! If you haven’t joined us yet, check here for all of the details and come plank it out with us (no matter how much you do or don’t plank right now)!

Planks are amazing for your core and when you have a strong core, everything in life becomes a little bit easier! You can lift and reach and stretch and bend easier because those muscles are the foundation for pretty much every movement you do. It improves your posture, your running form, helps to prevent back pain (yay!) and all kinds of other things, so it’s more than worth it to start investing in building your core, one plank at a time!

Planks are a great exercise for your core, but make sure you have the proper planking form with this list of dos and don'ts! 

One of the things I emphasize most is proper form in planks and in any form of exercise. It can save you from injuries and it can also make sure you are working the muscles you are supposed to be working.

Here’s a quick video from the Facebook page going over a few of the basics of proper planking form. Then keep reading for more dos and don’ts!

The Dos & Don’ts of Proper Planking Form


  • Keep your whole body in a line. From your head, down your spine, all the way down to your toes.
  • Breathe the whole time. Your muscles need oxygen, so make sure they are getting a steady flow!
  • Keep your arms directly beneath your shoulders (either your hands or your elbows, depending on which way you’re planking).
  • Stretch back through your heels. Your body should feel long, from head to toe.
  • Engage your core. Imagine pulling your belly button back toward your spine and bracing yourself like someone is about to punch you (but don’t forget to breathe!).
  • Squeeze your glutes & your quads. Keeping your body tight will make sure you’re building the right muscles!
  • Use a mirror or your phone camera to check your form. Sometimes it feels like we are doing it right when our body tells a different story, so being able to see yourself helps!


  • Stick your booty in the air. You’re going to miss out on actually strengthening your core when you do this!
  • Let your hips sag toward the ground. Your lower back will thank you.
  • Arch your back. Tuck your tailbone underneath you by tilting your hips toward your chin.
  • Drop your head (or look straight up, for that matter).
  • Spread your hands too far apart. Planking position is different than pushup position.
  • Scrunch your shoulders to your ears. When your body is working hard to support you, sometimes it does weird things like inching your shoulders up toward your ears. It’s a waste of energy, though, so watch those shoulders while you plank!
  • Hold your breath. No passing out while planking, please!
  • Hold the plank if you can’t stay in proper planking form. It’s not worth injuring yourself! Just drop down to your knees and give yourself a break. You can always get right back up.

Happy Planking!

Like This Post? Pin It!

Planks are a great exercise for your core, but make sure you have the proper planking form with this list of dos and don'ts! 



Friday 24th of January 2020

I understand the need for proper form. I see the illustrations of proper form. I live alone, no family in state, no spotter, and I do not go to gyms. How do I know if I am in correct stance. I have forward head and round shoulders (which I am working on) but at 77 and given that this is genetic probably am stuck with it. All you folks who expound on planking should tell us that you can't do it right alone. Eh?


Friday 24th of January 2020

Hi Cammy! You can absolutely do proper planks alone! Of course, having someone "spot" you is helpful in giving you another perspective, but I have actually found a mirror most helpful for watching my form. If you don't have a mirror, I've even just used the reflection in my glass display cabinets/entertainment center before.