If you want to get in better shape, planking is a great exercise to incorporate into your routine. Here are some of the amazing benefits you’ll reap from including planks into your daily routine.
Plank is a popular bodyweight exercise because of how quickly you can see results from including the workout in your training sessions. What is so interesting about blank is that it relies solely on your own body weight. While plank isn’t an easy exercise for many people, with time and effort, you’ll be able to increase the time you spend maintaining the plank posture which in the end will lead to really impressive outcomes.
Plank is one of the most accessible workouts because it can be performed just about anywhere with only an exercise mat. Plank works your abs by training multiple muscle groups and your glutes also get a good workout. But ultimately, plank helps your entire body to become much stronger. We have compiled a list of some of the amazing benefits you will reap from including planks into your daily training routine.
- Plank for Belly Fat
The most difficult aspect of any weight loss plan is eliminating visceral fat, or belly fat. There are a variety of ways to strengthen your abdominal muscles, and the plank exercise is a staple of any abs workout. Holding a plank engages and strengthens four distinct abdominal muscle groups and increases metabolic rate. The longer you hold the plank position, the more benefits you’ll reap, including a stronger core, greater flexibility, and a flatter, firmer stomach.
- Plank for Bodybuilding Performance
Compared to other traditional abdominal exercises, like crunches and sit-ups, planks tend to burn more calories per session, making them an excellent approach for a full-body workout.
Core muscles are some of the largest in the human body, therefore strengthening them through a plank exercise routine can increase your metabolic rate even while you are in a state of rest. This is especially important if you spend most of your time working at a desk. Doing some form of exercise at home every day, either before bed or after work, can help keep your metabolism revved up all day which will in turn improve your overall bodybuilding performance levels.
- It Will Improve Your Posture
Many people suffer from “desk jockey posture” because they spend long periods of time seated in front of a computer, TV, or steering wheel. The upper back rounds, the shoulders come forward, and the pelvis tilts back when you adopt this stance.
Because of the constant bending forward, your muscles’ length-tension relationships would be altered. Muscles can be overworked, overstretched, contracted, or underworked. We often slide into positions that allow us to use our bones for support instead of muscles to maintain a neutral spine.
However, your posture can greatly benefit from planking as there are many benefits to maintaining an upright posture. It helps preserve healthy bones and joints by keeping them in their correct alignment. Additionally, this will lead to greater overall muscle efficiency.
Correcting any misalignment in your back or spine will help you feel more at ease. A person with good posture not only looks healthier, but also exudes confidence.
- It Will Increase Your Flexibility
Flexibility can be increased through regular plank exercise by stretching your hamstrings, arches of the feet, and toes, and the posterior muscle groups, which include your collarbone, shoulder blades, and shoulders.
In addition to the other workouts, side planks help you build strong oblique muscles. This will also help you when you need to hyperextend your toes in order to support your body weight.
How to do a Plank
Doing plank exercises regularly can drastically improve your quality of life. However, the appropriate method is something that must be learned first. Planks are difficult to do properly at first, and will remain so until your muscles have had some time to strengthen.
Perhaps you’re wondering how many planks each day is optimal, or for how long.
If you can only do one plank every day to begin with, that’s fine. If you can’t maintain the position for 60 seconds, try starting with less and increasing it gradually.
You can aim for three sets of up to 60 seconds of planking every day. This might serve as a good target as you embark on your planking journey. But more importantly, consistency is the most crucial aspect of performing planks on a daily basis.
Types of Plank
- Get down on the floor and into a push-up position.
- You can assume a forearm plank position by bending your elbows to 90 degrees and supporting your body weight on your forearms.
- Your body should be in a hard straight line from head to toe with no slouching or bending at the waist.
- You should have your head down and be gazing at the ground.
- Maintain this posture for as long as you can.
- Don’t forget to take some deep, steady breaths.
- If you are unable to maintain proper form, you should stop. Proper form is essential for gaining any benefit from plank exercises.
- To ensure proper form on the side plank, make sure your elbow is directly beneath your shoulder.
- The ribcage is at rest. Typically, this entails a moderate downward pull and a moderate upward rotation.
- Keep your hips still and your glutes tight.
- When you find it hard to maintain proper form, simply stop. Your planks will only be effective if your form is correct.
Caution with Plank Workouts
Be wary of doing planks if any of the following health conditions apply to you:
- If you have a prolapse
- If you are recovering from a prolapse operation
- If you suffer from mild to severe pelvic pain
- If you have are experiencing a lack of strength or proper function in the muscles of your pelvic floor
- If you are recovering from childbirth
- Where you are obese
If a daily plank exercise is not recommended by your doctor, consider switching to another abdominal exercise that targets your pelvic floor instead.
In addition, if you have persistent lower back pain, you should see a doctor before attempting a plank workout.
Doing planks doesn’t require any specialized gear, money, or space, so you can do them anywhere. They are simple to work into any regimen, whether physical or otherwise.
There’s no need to assign them a regular time slot either. Planks are easy to incorporate into your exercises, whether you’re doing weightlifting, interval training, or even just jogging laps, because they can be done as active rest in between sets or intervals.
Planks are so easy that you may do them on your living room floor while watching TV or taking a break from work. Remember to work up to the plank position gradually and concentrate less on how long you can hold it and more on how much tension you can generate in your muscles.
So start with a plank workout today and you will be pleasantly pleased with the results the exercise will have on your body, posture, and overall fitness.