If you’ve already incorporated a few bodyweight exercises into your fitness routine during this quarantine and haven’t included planks yet then it’s about time that you do so. The plank is a wonderful, simple exercise that offers a ton of benefits and definitely worth adding to your exercise routine. However, in order to reap the fruits of your planking efforts, you need to execute it properly. Here’s a simple guide to help you maintain the proper form during basic planks:
1. Press your palms firmly into the floor with your back in a neutral position, your back of the neck parallel to the ceiling and your wrists aligned under your shoulders like you’re about to do a push-up. Don’t forget that your nose should point towards the floor.
2. Make sure that you ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes in order to stabilize your body. Also, remember to extend your right leg but keep in mind that you shouldn’t hyperextend or lock your knees.
3. Look at a particular spot on the floor (about a foot in front of your hands) to neutralize the position of your spine and neck. Don’t forget to keep the position of your head in line with your back. Keep in mind to prevent your head from dropping by thinking of your head and neck as an extension of your back.
4. Hold the position for around 20-60 seconds (Recommended for beginners: at least 20-30 seconds). Make it a point to try to hold your planks longer as you get the hang of it in the next coming weeks or months without compromising your form or breath. As you become comfortable with this bodyweight exercise, you’ll find it easier to get through more than a minute.
By doing solid plank executions, you'll be able to train not just your triceps, abdominals and shoulders. but target your quads and glutes as well.
Now that you’re aware of the basic plank form and the body parts that it usually targets, let’s now talk about some of the benefits that you’ll reap by adding this fantastic bodyweight exercise into your routine.
Core development and strength
Planks are a great way to develop your core and maintain its strength. Doing a lot of weight training and other exercises that targets specific muscle groups could sometimes backfire because the core is neglected. It’s something that must be trained regularly to avoid disproportionate strength, spine and back problems and other strain injuries later in life. By doing planks more often, you’ll be able to perform almost every action since your core muscles are worked every time you do it.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your posture then doing planks on a regular basis will help you achieve that. Aside from looking and feeling more confident with the way you stand, you’ll also experience less skeletal injuries and find it easier to do other body movements like bending over, as well as put less strain on your bones and joints when you do major exercise routines.
In order to maintain your balance, you need your core muscles but if these muscles are not strong enough then you won’t be able to do that. Planking will help you become more coordinated and train your muscles to become more stable. The majority of your stabilization comes from your core so if you’re not planking enough then you’re not only throwing the chance to build better endurance, but also denying yourself of the chance to to maintain and enhance additional body strength and balance.
If you want to burn more calories and improve your metabolism then you have to add more planks in your exercise routine every day. Planking will help you strengthen massive muscle groups in your body and having strong muscles means you’ll be able to burn more calories, even when you aren’t very active during this quarantine.
There you have it. These are just some of the benefits that you’ll get from planking. If you’re a beginner then just less than 10 minutes a day of this bodyweight exercise will do wonders for your body if done correctly and consistently.
Stay safe fitfam and add planks to your routine from here on out!