Ask fitness and workout experts, and they’ll tell you that planks are one of the best exercises you can do for your health. Planks have gotten plenty of attention recently, all due to their efficiency in growing the body stronger.
Of course, alongside planks, other types of exercises are surely valuable to our body and health, too. However, when it comes to planks, it is wondrous to see how the body becomes enchanted by a single movement.
Planks and the Core
It is no news that planks can activate a series of muscles across the body. But, where planks stand out the most is in empowering the core altogether. From activating the back, abs, and pelvic muscles, planks engage a through-and-through movement in body muscles.
The primary core muscles include the transversusabdominis, obliques, multifidus, rectus abdominis, the diaphragm, and erector spinae. Secondary core muscles include the latissimusdorsi, trapezius and the gluteus maximus.
Benefits of Strengthening the Core
While doing planks, activating the core can lead to many health benefits. Some of these include:
Back pain is very uncomfortable and can lead to more body complications. Because of that, planks can be a great way to retrieve the back’s strength with ease.
When it comes to posture, training the core can significantly improve any related issues. Even more, holding a good posture can affect your mood and overall wellbeing, and planks can get you there in no time.
We use our core even when we don’t actually feel it working. With that, everyday movements depend on having a strong core, which is where planks make a good idea.
The core is in charge of connecting the upper and lower body. Because of that, balance is a huge aspect to have in mind along with a strong core. By doing planks, the core becomes stronger, thus also increasing your stability and balance.
The Power of Planking and the Way It Benefits the Body
Planks are simple and don’t require any gym equipment. That said, you can do them anywhere and anytime. Planks strengthen not just the body muscles but activate the core better than any other exercise. A traditional plank focuses on activating the abs, biceps, buttocks, quadriceps, shins, and shoulders.
As the American Council on Exercise explains, doing traditional planks daily will help you relieve both upper and lower body pains.
Other benefits of doing planks include:
- Metabolism boost.
- Weight loss.
- Core muscle definition.
- Flexibility, especially in the shoulders, collarbone, feet arches, toes and hamstrings.
- Stress and anxiety relief
- Enhanced brain performance
- Stretching the leg, thigh, back and shoulder muscles.
How to Do a Classic Plank?
Before starting the exercise, activate the abs and keep them engaged. At the same time, keep your back straight and don’t forget to breathe evenly.
Planks don’t necessarily require pre-stretching, but still, it is highly recommended you wake up the muscles ahead of time. Otherwise, you risk doing the plank wrong or even hurting yourself.
To do a great classic plank, follow the instructions as listed:
- Begin by lying on the floor, in a pre-pushup posture.
- Make sure your upper and lower body are strong and pushing off the ground. At the same time, activate the abs even more and push yourself up on the forearms. Keep the forearms at a 90-degree angle, with elbows just below the shoulders.
- Relying on the strength of your forearms and toes, keep your figure straight and in parallel to the floor.
- Suck the belly inwards to stimulate the core even more.
Doing the plank means having the technique figured out completely. That said, a proper plank frame will beat any amount of reps or time spent planking. As you grow stronger, you can let your body choose its own time, but as a beginner, focus on improving your placement first. You can hold for as little as 10 seconds, then release and slowly come back to your initial posture.
Planks also offer lots of variations, suitable for both beginners and advanced students. Engaging the whole body through one exercise is remarkable. Therefore, we hope this article gets you both motivated and as in love with planking as the rest of us!