If you have never tried to do a plank before, it might seem like an easy exercise, but after about ten seconds in this position, you will see why it is not. Your body will start to shake and it will get harder to endure – the reason is that all of the muscles in the body participate in this exercise.
Plank is popular especially because it works effectively on the abdominal muscles, legs, shoulders and neck – and yes, of course, the buttocks. In addition, this marvelous exercise enhances your posture and increases your whole body strength.
How to perform the plank correctly?
Raise your body in the horizontally straight position so that you only rely on your elbows (or palms) and the tips of your feet. It is important that you do not lower your abdomen or lift your hips. So keep your legs stiff and your buttocks and abdomen squeezed.
The body must be completely straight. Stay in this position for as long as you can withstand it and remember to breathe. Do not overdo it. Push yourself, but not to the point where you might get injured. Just do it regularly and soon, you will be able to do it for much longer periods of time than you would expect.
There are four main benefits of regular planking:
A firm stomach
Planking will help you tighten the muscles deep inside of your belly and torso.
Less back pain
Doing this exercise regularly will strengthen the muscles of your back, which will support the spine more easily, while it will not exert itself during this exercise.
Improves posture and balance
Another reason the plank is becoming more and more popular is because it prevents slouching and helps you hold your back more straight.
It speeds up metabolism
It has been confirmed that the plank consumes more calories than many other exercises. If it is performed daily and gradually increases the endurance time, it certainly promotes fat burning.
- plank at the elbows
- plank on the palms of your hands
- knee plank (for the beginners)
- plank with one leg up and down
- lateral plank (especially good for lateral abdominal muscles)
- plank with elbows on a Pilates ball
And the best thing of all is that you don’t need any equipment for the plank, nor do you have to go somewhere to exercise. Get going today! A Canadian yoga instructor holds the world record for holding an abdominal plank for unbelievable four hours and twenty minutes, but do not make that feel you bad about your efforts.
If you manage to do four minutes and twenty seconds (see what I did there?) after a while, that will already be a feat to admire. Trust me, most people cannot do a single minute. But in the case you like it, of course, there is no reason not to go for even much longer.