Many fitness trainers cite that plank is one of the best exercises that you can do anywhere and anytime. The posture is so simple, yet functional and practical. It is one of the best exercises for core conditioning as it improves posture, supports a healthy back, and enhances overall movement and coordination.
This is the instruction to do the classic plank:
- Begin in the plank position with your forearms and toes to the floor.
- Keep your torso straight and rigid, and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
- Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds to start. Over time, work up to 30, 45, or 60 seconds
- Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and do not let your stomach drop or allow for your hips to rise up.
- Remember to breath. Take slow inhalations and exhale steadily.
Now we already know the way to do plank, let’s explore the benefits of doing planks regularly:
Planks strengthen your core
Yes, it seems almost impossible to get a six pack with plank only. You will need to pair it with quality diet and total-body cardio to get the killer abs. However, planks train your inner core muscles:
- Transverse abdominis, which results on the increased ability to lift heavier weight
- Rectus abdominis, which results on better sports performance and renowned six pack look
- Oblique muscles, which results on improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
- Glutes, which results on supported back and shaped booty.
Planks help to reduce back pain
Planks train the muscles of your abdomen to activate, so they support your posture and share the burden of holding you upright; so your back muscles no longer to do all the work. When your stomach muscles are stronger and you sit up tall (no slouching), you’re also less likely to develop pain in your back, neck, and shoulders caused from slouching in abnormal positions.
Planks improve your overall balance
When you cannot stand in one leg for a long time, it is not because there’s something wrong in your concentration or coordination—it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. By doing planks and side planks, you can improve your balance and thus boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity, especially ones that require balance.
Planks will make you more flexible
Planks expand and stretch all your posterior muscle groups (shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone) while also stretching your hamstrings, arching your feet, and toes. With a side plank added to the routine, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.
Planks improve your mood
Aside from physical benefits, plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves. The exercise stretches out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Planks do not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression—but only if you make it a part of your daily routine.
Here is a 10 minute plank workout: