Body weight exercises are gaining in popularity and the trend looks unlikely to change – and planks are at the heart of it
Planks form part of the body weight trend that are unlikely to go out of fashion, ever. Even people who detest them will do them begrudgingly simply because they are incredibly beneficial without demanding a lot of time or effort and the ROI on doing them is immense.
Planking affects your core directly, and what some people may not realize is that there is a very good reason basically everyone in the fitness industry agrees that developing abdominal strength should be non-negotiable. Simply speaking, your core is used in all forms of movement, so a weak core will affect your entire body.
But why is doing planks so important?
One move – lots of benefits
We’ve touched on the importance strength but what you may not realize is that by holding the plank position you’re also going to work your biceps, neck and shoulder muscles. You’re building and toning them even without rigorous weight exercises!
You’re more likely to avoid back injury
Not only are you building muscle but you’re doing it without any strain to your back or spine. While regular planking can help to reduce existing back pain, tightening and toning the muscles will actually add support to your back.
You’ll stand up straight
No really. Regular planking, and the development of the muscles in your back will help you stop slouching. Aesthetically your over appearance will improve, but a proper posture will help keep your bones and joins in the correct alignment.
With improved posture and spine alignment, it’s only logical that an improved sense of balance is not far behind! This comes down to strengthened abdominal muscles being able to hold you steady. For added benefits, definitely look at including side planks in your routine.
You’ll actually become more flexible
Believe it or not, planking will improve your over flexibility by stretching out the shoulders, shoulder blades as well as your hamstrings, the arches of your feet, and your toes. If you also do a side plank, you’ll have the added benefit of stretched oblique muscles.
Your metabolism will get a boost
Because you’re firing up so many more muscles than if you were only doing traditional crunches, you’re going to burn more energy through the day, something you really want to consider if you spend extended periods sitting in front of a computer.
Once you can get past the initial discomfort of settling into the position and holding it correctly, you can slow build up the time you’re able to hold the plank for longer periods each time. Add between 10 and 30 seconds each time to improve your stamina and reap the benefits!
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