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What-is-Plank-Exercise-and-why-is-it-Effective

What is Plank Exercise and why is it Effective beyond Other Exercises?

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What is the plank exercise? And how it’s different from other activities? Can you do this at home or you will need some equipment while doing a plank? Why is it essential in a workout routine?

What is the plank exercise that suitable for your body and age? There are many variations of plank exercises, and we are giving you our top list on that. Also, we are giving you some tips on how to do a plank correctly.

Plank, like squat, is a simple yet effective bodyweight exercise. It is the state wherein you hold your body stiff to develop strength in your core and other muscles such as shoulders, arms and glutes.

As there are many variations of plank you can choose from, you will not need equipment. Meaning you can always perform it at home or the park. There are common mistakes in doing planking. But lots of good things will happen, and because of these smart things, people are going crazy asking – what is plank exercise.

Like squats, plank does not go out of fashion. Planks are one of the exercises needed to build muscles most simply.

So why, plank?

We will make this short – plank is doing some exercise that will improve your core definition and performance. It is an ideal exercise for abs muscles and all of your major core muscles. Empowering your core muscles, you will increase your ability to lift heavier weights, improved sports performance like jumping and the capacity to do stable side-bending and waist twisting. For sure, you will have excellent support at the back.

With enough support at the back, you can reduce the risk of your injury at the back and to your spinal column. It is a type of exercise that will strengthen your muscles and ensures firm support for your entire back. While doing this, you will not need to put too much pressure on your spine and hips. Therefore, you will have less injury but more strength.

Aside from strength, you can increase the overall metabolism of your body. It is one of the reasons why many choose to plank over other exercises. Doing this daily is one way of making your abdominal muscles increase the energy to burn. If you have no time to attend workouts at the gym, you can do planking. It is essential if you are spending the majority of your day in sedentary.

Also, good posture is one of the benefits of doing planking. While other workouts busy increasing your muscles, a plank, however, does a great job of improving your posture. A good posture is making both of your bones and joints in the correct alignment. Meaning, both bones and joints are maintained and healthier. If you have the right-back position, you will have fewer sufferings of back pain.

Other benefits that we can get from plank exercise are improved overall balance and mobility. Also, it gives calmness to your brain and treats anxiety and depression.

How do you do it?

Before going to different variations of plank exercises, it is crucial to know the necessary steps on how to do planking. Here is our easy step-by-step plank position.

  1. Your starting position is getting yourself into a push-up position on the floor. But your arms bent at 90 degrees and your forearms are rested to your weight.
  2. Make sure your torso is straight and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
  3. Then your head should be relaxed and looking at the floor.
  4. You will need to hold this position as long as you can. But remember to breathe, inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
  5. When you feel your muscles are already toughened by the pressure, slowly return to push up position.

Upgrade your Plank Exercise

When you learned the basic plank workouts and taking this exercise seriously, you will need to know the techniques on how to do a plank.

Forearm Plank

  1. Your starting position is lying down, with your face looking at the floor and your legs extended and elbow bent under your shoulders.
  2. Clasp your hands and make sure your feet should be hip-width apart, and your elbows should be shoulder-width apart.
  3. While on this position, make some contractions to your abs and then tuck your toes to lift your body. You should be in a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Hold this position for 60 seconds or as long as you can. But remember to breathe, inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
  5. When you feel your muscles are already toughened by the pressure, slowly return to push up position.

Straight Arm Plank

  1. Your starting position is lying down, with your face looking at the floor and your legs extended. Your elbows should not be bent; instead, it should be straight like a push-up stunt.
  2. While on this position, make some contractions to your abs and then tuck your toes to lift your body. You should be in a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Hold this position for a minute or two or as long as you can. But remember to breathe, inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
  4. When you feel your muscles are already toughened by the pressure, slowly return to push up position.

Side Plank

  1. Your starting position is lying down in a plank position. But, you will have to press your one hand into a mat. It will turn your body so your weight will be on the outer edge of your right foot.
  2. Then stack your left foot on top.
  3. You will need to do some other movements like pressing your torso up and down. Don’t forget to extend your left arm, pointed toward the sky.
  4. Make contractions in lower abdominal muscles and to your major core muscles.
  5. You can hold this position for a minute.
  6. Afterwards, you can return to your plank position and repeat on the left side. Make up to three repetitions.

Resistance Plank

  1. To have more pressure on your core, you can add a resistance band to work your core, shoulders and hamstrings.
  2. Place band around your wrists and ankles to form as straight-arm plank.
  3. Start moving your left hand and right foot out six inches.
  4. Return to start and repeat on opposite sides.
  5. You can have up to 10 repetitions.

Plank Tuck

  1. Your starting position is lying down, with your face looking at the floor and your legs extended and elbow bent under your shoulders.
  2. Clasp your hands and make sure your feet should be hip-width apart, and your elbows should be shoulder-width apart.
  3. Your knees should also be bent but do not touch the ground. Tilt your pelvis up and hold for 4 breaths.
  4. While on this position, make some contractions to your abs and then tuck your toes to lift your body. Then go back to your position in a straight line from head to heels.
  5. Repeat three times.
  6. When you feel your muscles are already toughened by the pressure, slowly return to push up position.

 Caterpillar Plank

  1. Your starting position is standing with your feet apart with shoulder-width distance.
  2. Then bend forward at the waist and place your hands on the floor.
  3. Crawl forward to plank position with your shoulders directly aligned over wrists.
  4. Then bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor then push back up.
  5. Your starting position is lying down, with your face looking at the floor and your legs extended and elbow bent under your shoulders.
  6. Next, bend your left knee toward your chest and rotate your waist while doing this.
  7. After you reach the position of your left leg parallel to the floor, return to plank and repeat on the opposite side.
  8. Return to a standing position.

Twisting Knee Plank

  1. Your starting position is getting yourself into a straight arm plank.
  2. Then twist your lower body to the left, then to the right and return to center.
  3. Bring your left knee forward to touch your left elbow and hold for a second.
  4. Return to center and repeat on the right side.
  5. You can make 1 repetition up to 20 repetitions.

Plank with Side Snatch

  1. Adding a dumbbell for your plank will make your movement works better. While in a plank position, make your body straight and your feet wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Hold your dumbbell and engage in your core muscles.
  3. Then keep your arms straight and make a twist to your waist.
  4. Lift the dumbbell in the left hand out to left and up overhead.
  5. Return to plank position and continue for 60 seconds.
  6. Then switch sides and repeat.

Plank using a Ball

  1. Get a stability ball and place your shins and tops of your feet over the ball.
  2. Then put your hands on the ground in a plank position.
  3. Engage your core and squeeze your butt muscles and hold for 60 seconds.
  4. When you feel your muscles are already toughened by the pressure, slowly return to push up position by releasing the ball.

Also, you can try other plank positions using the ball. It is called stir-the-pot-plank.

  1. Your starting position is kneeling in front of the ball with your forearms and elbows on the ball with your hands clasped.
  2. Roll the ball forward until your legs are extended, and your body is in plank position, toes tucked.
  3. Your shoulders should be stacked directly above your elbows, and your chest lifted off the ball. Don’t forget your neck in line with your spine.
  4. Brace your abs and make a small circle to the right with your forearms, as if stirring a pot.
  5. You can do this for 15 repetitions and repeat circles to the left.

Are you feeling of improving your plank?

There are several ways of improving your plank. In many ways, what is plank exercise if you cannot have its full effect?

The first thing you will need to do is start your plank workout in straightforward variations. You can start with bent knee or forearm plank if you are a beginner. After you experienced plank for two minutes, you can try other plank variations.

The key to do that is practice daily. Discipline yourself to have a few minutes for your plank exercises. If you can do this, instead of the basic plank, you can increase your repetitions as well as upgrade the plank variations that you will do.

Quick Tips for Plank Exercise

Like other workouts, you can find flaws in doing planks. There are many mistakes, but we will focus on the top things that need to be resolved.

Make sure you have enough support for your back.

Put some effort to support your back by pulling your belly button in toward the spine when you are doing some contraction. It will help you torso flat, making your spine safe.

Your backwards should be in straight form.

It happens a lot to your butt. When you do planking, your butt is going upwards, or your back is going downwards. But the thing is, make sure your backward is in straight form, and you will have enough abs that will engage from top to bottom.

Keep your head straight while looking at the floor.

Don’t keep your hips, butt and back the only focus of your plank exercise. Another thing that is important to notice while doing the plank exercise is that your head is straight, making your neck in a neutral position. It is beneficial to your neck during this exercise.

Learn the essence of breathing in and breathing out.

Like other exercises, breathing is essential. You can deny oxygen to your body while doing the plank exercise. Make sure you know proper breathing to avoid dizziness and nausea. If you don’t know the appropriate breathing technique, you may need to ask for assistance on this one.

Stop being time conscious.

Free your mind from time and focus on your workout. Restraining your routine can affect your muscles and body while doing plank exercise. Never limit yourself with time. Instead, focus on the results that you want to achieve.

In our Opinion

After realizing and knowing about what is plank exercise, it is a useful exercise if you want to have strong muscles overall your body. But its pressure focuses on your abdominal muscles, so plank exercise is also known as plank abs.

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