How To Do Hardstyle Plank Properly

The hardstyle plank is not a very common workout. So if you have been hesitating to start it, that is completely understandable.

But what if I told you that this exercise requires no equipment and you can do it anywhere? The hardstyle plank is a variation of the standard plank.

You’ll only need to add a small technique, so it’s not as difficult as you may think if you already know how to perform a plank. It’s also known as RKC plank (Russian Kettlebell challenge).

The RKC plank is a whole body workout and emphasizes the mid-body section. It focuses on quality and not quantity, meaning that you cannot stay long in this position.

This is an excellent exercise for improving your core strength without adding bulk. But it’s important to do the plank properly to get the most out it.

HOW TO DO HARDSTYLE PLANK PROPERLY

  • Assume the standard plank position, hands below your shoulders (elbows bent at 90 degrees), and heels over toes.
  • Push upwards and pull shoulders in, to form a straight line from head to heels. Ensure your lower body is not sagging for this exercise to be effective.
  • Brace your abs, tighten your quads, and squeeze your brutes together as hard as possible. Pause this position as long as you can. Make sure that you’re breathing as you do this. If you’re doing this correctly, you can’t hold yourself too long like in a standard plank.
  • Repeat this depending on your fitness level, but aim for at least three reps.
  • You can also push your body backward to achieve better results.

WHAT MUSCLES DO HARDSTYLE PLANK WORKS?

The hardstyle plank works out your core. Your core is the center of your body and includes the muscles in the front, back, and sides that are responsible for your posture.

This exercise has a lot of benefits for your core because it helps you strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. It also helps tone up the muscles of your shoulders, arms, hips, and legs.

HARDSTYLE PLANK BENEFITS

IMPROVES YOUR CORE STRENGTH

Strengthening your core results in many benefits added to your physical aesthetics. It also helps improve your body balance and stability, mobility, and performance. It also helps prevent injury during your normal activities.

Core strength will train your pelvis, abdomen, lower back, and hips muscles to work in harmony.

BURNS CALORIES AND FAT

Hardstyle plank is among the most effective ways of reducing belly fat. You engage your abdominal muscles by bracing your abs and squeezing your glutes and quads, making it easy to shed some fat.

However, it’s good to remember that no single exercise helps reduce belly fat. So it’s good to incorporate this workout into your other activities if you want to see yourself losing calories and achieving a perfect mid-body look.

YOU CAN DO ANYWHERE WITH NO EQUIPMENT

Do you want to stay healthy, but you don’t have much time in your hands? Fret no more. Hardstyle plank has got you covered! You can work out even in your office, and it doesn’t require any equipment or much time. This way, you get to stay fit even with your tight schedule.

IMPROVES YOUR BODY POSTURE

Having a good posture helps eliminate a lot of problems in your body.

Holding yourself in a hard style position activates your legs, shoulders, and lower back muscles responsible for your posture—strengthening these muscles improves your posture.

By this, you can eliminate backaches and headaches. You also enjoy optimal digestion, increased moods, better breathing, and more significant function.

ALTERNATIVES TO HARDSTYLE PLANK

Here are some workouts you can try if you’re looking for alternatives for hardstyle plank:

SIDE PLANK

This exercise focuses on building your obliques and is a great way to work your core without adding bulk.

  • Lie on your right side, and then extend your legs, and your feet stacked on each other. Your elbow should be directly under your shoulder with your forearm facing away from you and hand made into a fist. Align your left hand along the left side of your body.
  • Your head and spine should be in a neutral position, core engaged as you lift your hips off the ground. Exhale. Ensure your body is in a straight line—no bending or sagging.
  • Hold on to this position for at least 15 secs, depending on your fitness level.
  • Change sides and repeat.

SWISS-BALL JACKKNIFE

Are you looking for a more advanced workout than the hardstyle plank? Then, a Swiss ball jackknife is a perfect choice. This exercise primarily targets your upper abdominal muscles. However, it also works the lower back, calves, glutes, hip flexors, and chest.

You’ll need a Swiss/stability ball for this exercise.

  • Start in a standard push-up position with palms on the floor and under your shoulders. Place your feet on the Swiss ball and extend your arms into a locked position. Then tighten your butt, quads, and core. Ensure your body is on a straight line from head to ankles.
  • Exhale and pull your knees towards your chest and bring them as close as possible. Keep the stability of the Swiss ball all this time.
  • Pause. Inhale, push the Swiss ball on the reverse side by extending your legs until you reach the starting position.

 HARDSTYLE PLANK MISTAKES TO AVOID

NOT SQUEEZING YOUR GLUTES AND QUADS

The difference between a hardstyle plank and a standard plank is squeezing glutes and quads. By squeezing your glutes and quads, you increase glute strength.

It also helps improve body power, flexibility, and endurance. A rule of thumb in hardstyle plank is that “nothing below your shoulders should be relaxed.”

LOWERING YOUR LOWER BACK

This exercise is effective only when your lower back is flat. Curving your lower back means that you’re not engaging the muscles as they should be.

If you want to enjoy all the perks of strengthening your core, ensure you have proper form when doing this exercise. This will also help in reducing strain and injuries to your back.

HOLDING YOUR BREATH

Most people struggle with holding their breath during this workout. Holding your breath during this exercise can cause stress to your body, making the training ineffective.

When in a hardstyle plank position, breathing helps you concentrate on tightening necessary parts, achieving excellent results.

SHIFTING YOUR WEIGHT FORWARD

It would be best if you don’t allow your shoulder to fall forward, which will shift your weight forward. Shifting the weight forward can put a strain on your neck, leading to neck pain or headache.

To increase the intensity of a hardstyle plank, push your body backward away from your hands (45 degrees).