After our AMRAP Thanksgiving circuit I had my boot-camp class do a 3 minute plank.
Doing a long plank at the end of a tough workout requires focus. You need to squeeze your abdominals to support your back while you maintain a lift in your hips (but not too much) so that your spine stays neutral. If you are on your hands, you also must stand strong in your arms (so you don’t fall face down onto the floor) and squeeze your tired glutes and thighs together to maintain your form.
Then you need to breathe. And hold. And hold. And hold.
Holding a plank is mind as much as muscle. At the slightest wobble, shake, or falter it’s tempting to give up and drop out. I would like to encourage you to push through the wobbles and the discomfort. Push for another second, or two or five. Your mind often will tell you that you need to stop but if you push through even just a bit more. Your body will reward you by getting stronger.
Now go run!
Note: Like with any exercise, if you feel any sharp pains or think you may aggravate an already tender or sensitive area I recommend you stop and/or switch to an alternative exercise such as a bird-dog.