When it comes to core strength exercises there are a number of options but you can’t do much better than the plank.
It is often said that the best things in life are the simplest and, at least in terms of concept, the plank really is simple as well as brilliantly effective. It is just you holding a position that is easy to assume for a period of time.
But don’t be fooled, there might not be much to it in terms of execution, but it really hits the spot and can deliver an intense workout. Plank exercises for a stronger core really deliver!
So what are the benefits of the plank? There are numerous and they are by no means restricted entirely to the abdominal region.
Lets take a look…
Improve core strength:
This is probably its primary action. Planking strengthens all those mid section muscles that link the upper and lower body and are crucial to so much of our movement.
According to a study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning, the plank provides 100% activation of our six-pack muscles. By comparison it stated that the crunch only engages 64%.
Unlike some exercises that can either weaken or even damage the back, the plan will help strengthen it.
A very efficient way of boosting metabolism and burning fat.
Planks expand and stretch muscles around the shoulders, collarbone, shoulder blades, hamstrings and even arches of the feet and toes! The positive effects really are top to bottom!
As with all good exercises you will be left with a sense of satisfaction and general happiness as well as raised energy levels.
How to do it?
The other beauty about the plank is its sheer simplicity of execution. You need no special skills, no equipment, no expanses of space any larger than the length and width of your body. In fact, in private, you don’t even need clothes!
A) Get into a classic press up position, bend your elbows to the floor and rest your weight on your elbows and forearms.
B) Form is critical when planking. Your body should form a beautifully straight line throughout its length from neck and shoulders right down to ankles. You head, shoulders and hips must not drop.
C) Engage your core. You can do this by pulling your belly in towards your spine.
D) Now hold this position for a long as you reasonably can. Of course as you continue to plank over time you will be able to hold the position for longer and longer. Initially do what you can, whether it is 15 second or a minute, and build gradually.
E) Rest for one minute and then repeat for three to five more times.
So as you can see, the humble plank is a bit of a superstar in the exercise world. You will love the sense of accomplishment as you are able to plank for longer and longer and that mid section gets stronger and stronger. There is nothing more motivating than that!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Claire Aves