Body weight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of body weight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.With exercise, sometimes the simplest of movements result in the greatest gains to your fitness, and this is certainly the case with planks. If you’ve never tried one, a plank may look easy, almost too easy to be beneficial, but this is deceiving.
Planking has become increasingly popular for core strengthening, and for good reason: it works – in large part because it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The plank also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance. To do a plank, you hold your body (the trunk portion) off the ground, making sure to hold it in a straight line. Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your wrists in line with your elbows. Push your body up into your upper back and hold your chin close to your neck (like you’re holding an egg between your chin and your throat). Hold a plank at least 20 to 30 seconds. Rest for a minute and then repeat 4 more times.
Benefits of Doing Planks
#1 Toned Belly
Planking will help build your deep inner core muscles that lay the groundwork for that toned belly. As your abdominal muscles become stronger, your mid-section will tighten.
While building strength, planks also increase flexibility in your posterior muscle groups. The muscles around your shoulders, collarbone, and shoulder blades will expand and stretch, as will your hamstrings and even the arches of your feet and your toes.
#3 Reduces Back Pain
Planks work for back pain because they strengthen your core, which has the pleasant “side effect” of reducing back pain. They also strengthen your back muscles, especially those in your upper back.
#4 Improves Your Balance and Posture
To do a plank correctly, you must engage your abs to stay upright. In addition, planks work all the muscles you need to maintain proper posture, like your back, chest, shoulders, abs, and neck. If you do planks regularly, you’ll find you’re able to sit or stand up straighter with ease.
#5 Improves Your Mood
Virtually every exercise has the potential to give you a mood boost, and planks are no exception. Planks are unique, however, in that they help stretch and ultimately relax muscles groups that often become stiff and tense from prolonged sitting. The tension release that planks provide is uplifting for your spirit.
So wait no more and go Planking today!