PLANK: The miracle exercise!
Tone your whole body with just one exercise!
If I had to pick only one exercise to do to keep my body in shape, it would be the plank.
If you have never done a plank, at first it may look like an easy position but when you start doing it properly (and shake like crazy!) then you will understand how difficult and amazing it is!
The plank is a phenomenal exercise for core strengthening because it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously like the neck, shoulders, chest, legs and booty. It will also build stability, proper posture and strength throughout the entire body.
4 benefits of doing the plank:
- Tone your belly: Planking will help you build your deep inner core muscles, including the transversus abdominis, which lays the foundation for creating a stronger, more defined rectus abdominis.
- Reduce back pain: Practicing the plank regularly will help you reduce back pain as you are strengthening your core and providing strong support for the spine. Planking is a safe way to build core muscle without unnecessary strain on the spine.
- Improve your balance and posture: Strengthening your core with an isometric exercise like the plank improves your spine’s stability and position.
- Boost your metabolism: It is confirmed that the plank burns more calories than many other traditional core exercise. If done every day, it may help you lose fat.
How to do plank properly?
- Keep your chest and abdominal muscles strong, your thighs, buttocks and knees activated and avoid letting your stomach drop or allowing your hips to rise up.
- Your body should be in a perfect straight line from head to toes.
- Keep this position as long as possible and don’t forget to breathe!
There are so many variations of plank exercises, and each engages different sets of muscles for all-around toning and strengthening.
Here are a few:
- On forearms (low plank)
- On straight arms (high plank)
- On knees (for beginners) or toes
- Side plank which can also be done on the forearms or with straight arms
- Open (more stability) or closed legs
- Adding arm and/or foot lifts
- Plank jack
- Forearm plank on a Pilates ball
- Wide arm plank
- Extended arm plank