The Benefits of Planking
Bodyweight exercising is getting more and more popular in the fitness world thanks to the fact that it is practical, simple and easy to do just about anywhere. Planks are a great bodyweight exercise that will never go out of style. Planks are great because they do not require a huge time investment or expensive equipment to see amazing results.
Our abdominal muscles are very important as they provide support for our entire back and spinal column. Moreover, they also play a key role in preventing injuries. Still, if you want them to perform their function successfully, you must make them strong and train them on a regular basis. In other words, doing plank exercises every day is a great way to make your core stronger and support your spine.
When you start incorporating planks into your daily exercise routine, you will see the following benefits:
- Improved Core Definition and Performance
Planks are the best exercise for the abdominal muscles as they engage all the main core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the glutes, and the external oblique muscles. When we make each of these muscles stronger we improve our ability to lift weights, jump higher, and perform a steady side bend.
- Decreased Risk of Spinal Column Injury
Doing planks ensures that our entire back is well supported. Relating to neurostructural chiropractic, this is very important. The stronger our back muscles are, the better able they are to hold our spinal column in its proper position. When our spinal column has a proper structure, we have proper function of all the nerves that run out of our spinal column to every cell, tissue and organ telling it how to function. When are nerves are free from interference due to pressure from poor spinal alignment, our body is able to communicate better, helping the parts work as a whole, and heal itself naturally.
- Increased Metabolism
Doing planks on a daily basis will burn more calories than doing any other traditional abdominal exercise, including crunches or sit-ups. If you do a plank every day, you will burn more energy throughout the day, even when you sit. This is particularly important for people who spend the majority of their day sitting in front of a computer.
- Improved Posture
Planks will help improve your ability to stand with straight and stable posture.
- Improved Balance
Doing side planks will improve your balance and boost your performance in any kind of sport activity.
- Increased Flexibility
While performing a plank, we are actually expanding and stretching all of the muscles on the back of our body- our shoulders and shoulder blades, our hamstrings, the arches of our feet and even our toes.
A plank is an isometric exercise- an exercise where you contract a muscle or a muscle group without causing movement of a joint. The plank requires you to contract the muscles in your core while you support your body weight on your forearms, hands and toes
The benefits of planking are clear and well documented. But, don’t have much time to work out? We have the perfect solution. You can start by doing this simple 5-minute plank exercise program and start reaping thebenefits!
- Start by doing a 1 minute basic plank, work on keeping your core tight and engaged while focusing on keeping your shoulders relaxed.
- Transition into an elbow plank for 30 seconds. The transition is usually the hardest part! Focus on keeping your glutes down.
- Raise the right leg for 30 seconds and then the left leg for 30 seconds. Remember to engage all of your muscles, even the tiny ones in your toes.
- Transition into a side plank on each side for 30 seconds. While performing a side plank, remember to stagger your feet on the ground to help with balance. It is important to not let your head fall too far forward, try to keep it in line with your torso.
- Transition back to a basic plank for 30 seconds
- And, finally, return back to an elbow plank for the last minute of your exercise.