There are many benefits of doing planks, despite the fact that it’s such a simple exercise. After all, they strengthen both your abdomen and back. Read on to learn many more of the numerous benefits of planks.
How to Do a Plank
The set up is simple – all you need is enough space to stretch. Your own body weight is the acting force that makes planks effective.
Start by placing your elbows and forearms on the floor. Make sure to align your elbows with your shoulders. Meanwhile, your forearms and wrists should be aligned with your elbows. Your arms should form a straight line as seen in the above image.
Next, place your toes out behind you on the ground and push your body up. You need to keep your back straight and aligned with your legs. Place your chin near the neck, but don’t strain your chin or neck.
Hold this position for the desired length of time (20-30 seconds is recommended).
In this position, your abdominal, buttocks, and thigh muscles are being worked. When finished, rest for about a minute and repeat three to five times.
Health Benefits of Doing Planks
1. Strengthens your core muscles
Planks alone will not give you a flat stomach. However, when combined with a balanced diet and cardio exercises, you can achieve amazing results.
Planks exercise and train the muscles of your core, including the transverse abdominal muscle, which is the foundation for having stronger and more refined Rectus abdominis (what’s commonly referred to as “abs”).
For people who suffer from spinal disc problems or persistent back pain, planks are safer than conventional crunches because they do not require any spinal flex or movement.
2. Reduces your risk of injury
Planks not only work your abdominal muscles, but also the muscles in your back, legs, and arms. In this way, it’s a complete body exercise.
In addition, having strong abdominal muscles can help you prevent neck and shoulder pain due to bad posture.
3. Improves your metabolism
Since planks are a simple exercise with little to no movement involved in it, it’s perfect for people who are working out at home.
That said, just doing a few minutes of planks a day can speed up your metabolism.
4. Improves your posture
Planks work your whole core, from your pelvis to shoulders. When these muscles – which includes the erector spinae, rhomboids, and trapezius – are strong, you’ll naturally carry yourself with a straighter back and better posture.
Good posture helps facilitate better breathing and the functioning of the nervous system.
5. Improves coordination
By working out several muscles at the same time, you’re teaching your body to act as a single unit rather than a set of individual parts.
Overall, planks will also help you with any other type of exercise. The muscles that are strengthened and reinforced by planks will help you with running, swimming, walking, etc.
The conventional plank trains your muscles to work together, while variations on the conventional plank (side planks, single-handed planks, single-legged planks, planks where you move, etc.) help improve your balance.
6. Improve your flexibility and overall mood
Flexibility is not just the result of stretching. In addition, it can also be improved by performing certain exercises, like planks. Planks help expand and stretch all of the posterior muscles of the back and legs.
Meanwhile, while most exercises help to improve your mood, planks help strengthen and stretch muscles that have become stiff due to maintaining one position for a long period of time. This release of tension relaxes your muscles and helps eliminate stress.
Overall, this simple exercise will help improve your overall physical condition and bring you several other benefits. Start doing those planks and you’ll experience the benefits for yourself!