The 5 Biggest Planking Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

Portrait of young muscular man with bare chest doing plank exercise on floor during workout in modern gym

Most Common Planking Mistakes

Planks have a cult following amongst people who want stronger cores and shredded midriffs. While you might find several people performing the planks workout at your gym, only a few of them do them correctly.

If you’re reading this article, chances are even you’re making the five mistakes mentioned below while performing the exercise. Sit up and take note because fixing these errors can take your core game to the next level.

The Hanging Crotch

Yes, you read it right. The hanging crotch is a real planking problem. As easy as they might look, performing the planks can be hard, especially for beginners. A weak core tends to drop down from the correct position where the torso and lower body are in a straight line.

If you don’t have someone to correct your form, filming yourself while holding the plank can be a good way to review your set. Letting your torso hang below the straight line can result in the recruitment of your shoulders which can take away the tension from your midriff.

Forming A Bridge

While performing the planks, the fatigue which makes the torso hang low for some people can force the others to form a bridge. Both of these situations take the tension off the primary muscles and put them on the secondary muscles.

Some people lift their hips while planking to take the tension off their core. If you feel the fatigue setting in, it’s better to take a 5-10 second breather in-between your set rather than using a cheating posture.

Head Position

The head position is one of the most overlooked aspects of planking. Most of the people have the incorrect head position as they tend to look up straight or to their sides. Having a wrong head position while planking can cause neck pains in the long run.

Your neck will have the least amount of friction when it is in a straight line with the rest of the body. In an orthodox plank, you should be looking straight at the floor. Avoid moving your head to keep the tension on your mid-section.

Limb Position

Do you ever consider where and how you place your legs and arms while getting in the planking position? Most people don’t, and this is why they leave gains on the table. Some people make the mistake of keeping their hands interlocked and their legs placed together.

In the correct planking position, your feet should be placed shoulder-width apart and your elbows should be planted under your shoulders. Your upper arms should be parallel to each other, and your hands turned into fists.


TuT or Time Under Tension is arguably the biggest variable in the results you’ll see from the planks. If you’re a beginner, start by planking for 30-seconds and add 15-seconds every week as you get better at the exercise.

As you’re planking, make sure your core is tight and you’re focusing on contracting your abdominal. The more tension you can get on your abs while holding the right form, the better your results will be.

Which is your best planking time? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

*Header image courtesy of Envato Elements.

Vidur Saini
Vidur is a fitness junky who likes staying up to date with the fitness industry and loves publishing his opinions for everyone to see. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.