Working out is good for you, but can be hard. That’s one of the main reasons why a lot of people don’t work out regularly.
But looking after your fitness does not need to be hard or complicated. There are in fact exercises that are simple, straight-forward, requires no tools, and can be done anywhere and any time – yes even from home.
Plank is just one such exercise.
Planks have been around for a long long time, and have remained a staple in the fitness toolbox of most fitness enthusiasts because of its simplicity and effectiveness.
Need more reasons? Then check out these 10 benefits of planking regularly:
1. Makes you stronger
Planks mainly focus on your core muscles – your core muscles are extremely important for nearly everything you do, so by strengthening them you can improve not just improve your overall fitness but your overall strength too.
The other thing is that planks don’t just strengthen your core muscles. They also strengthen your neck, shoulders, chest, buttocks, calves and hamstring muscles.
It’s like a complete workout but from just one exercise!
2. Improves your posture
Ever heard how important good posture is? Well, planks can significantly help improve your posture.
Planks workout and strengthen all the muscles you need for good posture, so regularly doing plank will result in an improved posture.
Is your posture good? If not, planks are definitely worth trying out. It is trying out even if you have good posture, for the many other benefits (see below).
3. Helps you become more flexible
Doing planks don’t just help you get stronger, they also help you become more flexible. This is down to how doing planks stretch and expand the muscles around your shoulder and shoulder blades, hamstrings, and even your feet.
So doing planks regularly will improve your flexibility.
4. Improves your balance
Planks, as mentioned earlier, trains and strengthens your core muscles. These muscles are vital for movement and stabilisation. Regularly doing planks will, as a result, improve your balance.
This is especially useful if you are into any sort of sporting activity, and also if you are a bit clumsy (like many of us!).
5. Helps reduce back pain
Do you suffer from any sort of back pain? Then planks are definitely worth a try.
Doing planks properly (see video below) helps strengthen your back muscles, which in turn helps deal with any back pain you may have. Not just that, regularly doing planks can even help you get rid of your back pain, as your back will become stronger over time.
6. Helps clear your mind
Planks can be a great way to meditate – when you are holding yourself in position, you are focused and limiting your attention to the task at hand, ie. planking.
7. Grows with you
As you get stronger, you can increase and change your planks up to adjust the intensity. This way you can keep getting stronger over time rather than plateauing.
If you find the normal plank pose too easy (well done you if you are in this position!), then there are many ways to increase the difficulty of this exercise – check out these variations for starters: reverse plank, side plank, superman planks.
8. It is simple
Planks are possibly the simplest exercises around – all you need to do is just hold yourself in one position for as long as possible (see instructions below).
How much simpler can it get??
9. It is safe
Workout injuries are not even an issue with plank, because all you are doing is using your own body weight to hold yourself in place. There are no sudden movements involved, no specialist rotation, no extra weights, no fancy stuff whatsoever.
Planks really are as safe as exercises come.
10. Helps you get a six pack
If getting six packs on your health wish list, then planks are definitely a must-do.
Because of the work they do in working your core muscles, planks help you define your ab muscles over time and help you get six pack definition.
11. You don’t need any special equipment
You don’t need to go to a gym to do this exercise.
Plank is a bodyweight exercise – all you really need is yourself. No need for any fancy equipment, or anything else for that matter. All you need is a bit of space where you can do planks, and that’s about it.
Now that you know how awesome planks are, below is a video to get you started.
How to do planks
If you are not familiar with planks, check out this short video to learn how to properly do planks.
This short tutorial can help you to get started with this excellent core exercise.
How long should you spend every day doing planks
Often the recommendation is to do five to ten minutes a day, but if you are new to them that might be overwhelming, so don’t worry about that.
Even thirty seconds a day is a good starting point.
Start small, and build from there.
Planks are simple and effective, and the return you get in terms of health benefits are significant. So add them to your daily routine if you have not already!
What do you think about the benefits of planking?
Let us know in the comments what you think and if you have any additional tips to share!
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