What is a Plank?
A plank is an awesome core strengthening exercise but also engages big muscle groups simultaneously. Making it a go-to as one of my favorite exercises.
Benefits of Planks
Tighten your tummy
- Planking helps build your deep inner core muscle. As your abdominal muscles become stronger your mid section will tighten.
Improve your posture and balance
- To do a plank correctly you must engage your abs to stay upright. If you do planks regularly, you’ll find you’re able to sit or stand up straighter with ease.
- Doing variations of the normal plank such as side planks, or planks on a balance ball will increase your balance.
Reduce Back Pain
- Planks work for back pain because they strengthen your core, an awesome “side effect” of strengthening your core is it can reduce back pain. They also strengthen your back muscles, especially those in your upper back.
- Planks are building strength but also increases flexibility in your posterior muscle groups. The muscles around your shoulders and shoulder blades will stretch, as well as your hamstrings and even the arches of your feet and your toes.
Improve your mood
- While any form of exercise is proven to boost your mood. Planks can help stretch and relax muscles groups that often become stiff and tense from prolonged sitting. Which can help improve your mood!
How to properly do a plank:
- Your going to get in a position like you are about to do a push up but to start on your forearms rather than your hands. Your forearms should remain firmly planted on the ground with your palms facing down.
- You want to keep your body level making sure your head in a neutral position looking down at the floor. Pull your belly button in towards your spine, this will help strengthen your inner abdominis muscle and support your spine.
- In this position, brace your abdominals—contract them like expecting a punch in your stomach, squeeze your glutes and thigh muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.
- Hold this position for 20-30 secs and rest for 1 minute and repeat 3-5 times.
Mistakes that can happen when trying to plank:
- Holding your breath
- Placing your hands too close together, which can create instability at your shoulder joint
- Allowing your hips, head, or shoulders to drop
- Trying to hold the position too long – it is better to maintain proper form for a shorter period of time than to hold improper form for longer
Everyday! This is a quick 30 sec exercise that you can do everyday before you start your day or right before you go to bed!