A plank is a simple but effective exercise to strengthen your entire body and build stability. A plank workout strengthens your chest, shoulders, back muscles, quadriceps, and glutes while working all major abdominal muscles. Planks are not easy, especially for beginners, but their many benefits to the body should motivate you to practice them daily. Read on to learn about the benefits of doing planks daily.
1. Improved core definition
A plank workout is arguably the most effective form of exercise when it comes to strengthening the core. It is able to work all four major muscle groups in the stomach, which include:
- Rectus abdominis: These are the visual six-pack muscles, and they help to improve your sports performance, especially jumping.
- Transversus abdominis: They enhance your ability to lift heavy objects.
- Oblique: These are a set of muscles that are responsible for your ability to twist your waist and bend sideways.
- Glute: These are the muscles that support your back and help to tone your buttocks.
For best results, combine planks with strength training and cardio exercises, but first, start by learning about how to plank.
2. Improved posture
Doing planks can greatly improve your posture. During plank exercises, you are required to keep your body perpendicular to the ground, which helps to strengthen your back and improves your posture. Good body posture implies that you are keeping your bones aligned, which helps to reduce the chances of skeletal injuries. You will also be able to lift more, and there will be less strain on your joints and bones which reduces the risks of diseases like arthritis.
A good posture ensures proper weight distribution, which eliminates the risk of injuries that result from improper weight distribution. A straight posture also helps to position the internal organs better, which alleviates any functional and digestive problems that may have arisen from your internal organs being out of their natural position due to bad posture.
3. Decreased risk of back pain
Decreased risk of back pain is partially due to the good posture that planks enhance. A good posture helps to align the vertebrae, helping to remove unnecessary stress on the spinal region. It also helps to arrange the back ligaments properly, which reduces the risks of painful back conditions. Apart from the improved posture promoted by planks, they also help to build stronger abdominal muscle. This makes the body less reliant on the back muscles for daily activities and exercises, helping to reduce the risk of back pain.
4. Improved metabolism
Apart from toned muscles, a good posture, and decreased back pain, planks also help to improve metabolism by increasing your muscle mass which boosts your metabolic heart rate. This helps to burn more calories, even when you are resting. This makes plank exercises important for people who sit all day or do other jobs that aren’t very active. Planks will help you build strong muscles helping to burn more calories and reduce the risk of gaining extra weight.
5. Improved balance and coordination
Contrary to what many people believe, your balance is not based on your legs. Most of the work actually happens on the core as it keeps you upright and stable. A strong core helps your body and muscles to work as a single unit, and by doing planks regularly, you will find yourself more agile, nimble, and coordinated.
With such rewarding benefits, it is easy to see why planks are popular among athletes, exercise enthusiasts, and yogis alike. If you are just starting or adding time to your plank workout, remember quality beats quantity. Learn how to do the many plank varieties correctly to reap these benefits.