Many people remember the planking trend from years past and wondered what it was all about. They're not alone in their questioning of its purpose. Many people have no idea what planking can do for them. This brief guide aims to help men and women better understand the benefits of plank exercises. It introduces them to the proper form, planking exercises, and advantages of nailing the plank so they can move onto other body-weight exercises.
What is a Plank Exercise?
A plank is an isometric exercise performed using a person's hands, knees, and legs and using their body weight as resistance. Several steps allow them to assume the proper form and get the most out of every plank they perform. The exercise serves as the foundation for other core-strengthening and muscle-building exercises. Once people master planking, they can introduce other, more difficult strength-training exercises to their fitness routine.
Before you start plank exercise, you need to prepare some must-have gym gear, like workout tops, leggings, sports shoes, and more. Good gym gear will make your entire workout easier and more comfortable.
A sample plank workout includes the following steps:
- A person should get on their hands and knees with the placement of their hands on the floor directly under their shoulders. They should maintain a shoulder-width of distance in the initial pose. It's the first step in getting ready to plank. It is pivotal because, without it, people cannot get the other steps down correctly.
- Extend their legs behind them after rising from a kneeling position. They must tuck their toes. It allows their entire body to rise and gain support from their arms and legs. The position is known as a high plank. It should be held for as long as possible, aiming to increase the amount of time in the position for five more seconds or five more minutes each day.
- Once the high plank is perfect, then a person can attempt the forearm plank. To achieve the challenging pose, a person needs to lower their body until they're down to their forearms. People should do it slowly and deliberately by using one arm to support their body weight before switching to the other arm. The placement of the shoulders is very important. It should be above the elbows. The forearms can be positioned inward or kept straight, whichever option is more comfortable.
- Continue to engage the core. Make sure that the hips don't drop or the backside raises in the air. People should look directly in front of them to keep their necks in the correct position. It should align with the spine. Again, a person can hold a plank for however long they can stand to remain in the position. Once conditioned, it becomes easier for a person's body to stay in a planking position for a longer duration.
These steps are fundamental and help a person get the full benefits of doing planks. It allows them to build other exercises into their routine, too, that complement planking. That way, they can be the healthiest version of themselves possible.
What are the Benefits of Plank Exercises?
The benefits of plank exercises are listed below for people to refer to today. That way, they have a full understanding of why the exercise is so popular. It gives them an insider's view of the advantages of planking and how it can contribute to good health and their overall well-being.
The benefits of planking exercises include a tighter core and greater stability, better posture, stronger and more stable shoulders, greater muscle endurance, and stronger glutes. How the exercise helps people achieve these things is mentioned in detail. Each description explains the body's position during a plank and what it does to condition that area of the body.
A Tighter Core and Greater Stability
People need a strong core to perform the most average tasks. For example, it helps them pull open doors, lift heavy packages, and even maintain good posture. Planking works a person's abs, quads, and glutes. It's the ultimate stabilization exercise because it contracts muscles but doesn't put pressure on people's joints.
A stronger core leads to better posture while seated and standing. People who do planking exercises notice that they don't slump their shoulders or experience lower back pain as frequently as people who don't engage in doing the exercise regularly. It's yet another reason why planking is a great starter exercise that people can do for a specific number of minutes and gradually increase the time spent doing planks as they get better at doing them.
Stronger and More Stable Shoulders
To reach above one's head and grasp items, they must have strong shoulders. It may be one of the less promoted benefits of planking exercises, but it's certainly one that helps with upper body strength. The shoulders are an essential part of good posture, too, making it possible to prevent neck pain by planking.
Greater Muscle Endurance
When completing activities that require sustained muscle endurance, people are glad that they've had experience planking. It helps them become better walkers, joggers, and runners. Muscle endurance ensures that the muscles can handle repetitive motion.
Standing activities are easier thanks to stronger glutes. People who engage in planking exercises find it much easier to stand for long durations of time. They're able to take advantage of the pelvic position that they achieve during planking. Balance and strength improve because of the mindfulness displayed by the person who has built planks into their workout routine.
A Full Body Workout That Makes People Stronger
Many positives are associated with perfecting a person's plank. By focusing on the proper form, people can get the most benefit from their daily exercises. Not only will they feel it throughout their body, but they'll also be mentally stronger because of the empowered feeling they get from being able to plank for a long time.