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Doing a plank is a great way to strengthen your core muscles. Here's how to do a basic plank:

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1. **Starting Position**:

   - Begin by getting into a push-up position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels.

   - Your feet should be hip-width apart, and your toes should be pressing into the ground.

2. **Engage Your Core**:

   - Tighten your abdominal muscles and squeeze your glutes to engage your core.

   - Make sure your body remains in a straight line, and avoid sagging your hips or arching your back.

3. **Hold the Position**:

   - Hold the plank position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.

   - Start with holding for 10-20 seconds if you're a beginner and gradually increase the time as you get stronger.

   - Aim to hold the plank for at least 30-60 seconds for maximum benefit.

4. **Breathe**:

   - Focus on breathing deeply and evenly throughout the exercise. Avoid holding your breath.

5. **Modify as Needed**:

   - If holding a full plank is too challenging, you can modify by dropping down to your elbows instead of keeping your arms straight.

   - You can also perform a plank on your knees instead of your toes, which reduces the intensity of the exercise.

6. **Finish**:

   - When you're ready to finish the plank, gently lower yourself back down to the ground.

7. **Repeat**:

   - Aim to do 2-3 sets of planks, with a rest period in between each set.

   - As you get stronger, gradually increase the duration of each plank or try more challenging variations, such as side planks or plank with leg lifts.

Remember to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. It's better to maintain proper form with a shorter hold time than to sacrifice form for a longer duration.
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