Is Your Plank Form Working Your Core?

Ah, the mighty plank. When you’ve mastered proper plank form, this move can set your abs on fire and transform your workouts. It’s an incredibly useful exercise to know and to love (or hate, depending on the day). “Planks are a crucial component of exercise routines because they are engaging practically your entire body in a safe position,” Amanda Christodoulou, certified Pilates instructor and owner of Pilates Body in Miami, tells SELF. Safe, effective, tough, and total-body engaging—doesn’t get much better than that.

There’s just one catch: Proper plank form is tough.

For planks to live up to their full potential, you’ve got to make sure your form is on point—and that can be a lot easier said than done. “A proper plank, when turned vertically, is close to proper standing posture,” Christodoulou says, which means doing a proper plank is hard. And you might not even realize that you’re not doing them right.

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