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I notice that when I plank, I can do a few different things.

First of all, when I plank my elbows are together and slightly in front of my shoulders.

I could choose to strongly engage my core (abs), and also engage what I will refer to as my "upper glutes" not sure if that makes sense or not.

Contrarily, what I was doing yesterday was really focusing on contracting my glutes (entire). This activated a lot of muscles in the backs of my upper legs aswell.

Which form of the exercise is the proper one? I feel more burn in my abs when doing the second one, and I find it harder to contract my abs as much when doing the second option, perhaps though the abs are getting worked just as hard, I just don't notice it as much because I'm focused on the other sensation aswell

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For planks and bridges, I try to squeeze my butt really tight and get prepared for a sucker punch to the stomach. Your "core" is everything south of your pecs to north of your knees. I've always found "core" to be a silly term, but it does make people think of the oft forgotten muscles that we're talking about here.

That position, where you are literally stiff as a board, is the same you will generally want to hold in a pushup, at the top of a deadlift, and numerous other positions requiring a tight mid section.

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