People hit the gym everyday routinely for a toned muscular body. Among the several exercises that they do daily, planks are considered to be the most effective exercise – for the mind, the body and the soul.
Although a little difficult to do it properly, once you’ve mastered the art, this “perfect exercise” will freshen up your mind, tightens your muscles and helps you lose weight faster. But oftentimes a pocket pinching gym membership isn’t necessarily the perfect fit. This is where the value of alternative exercises gives birth. Planks are one of them.
Every exercise has its eminence, be it hard core or a minimalistic routine workout. The next part of this article will stress on:
-the significance of core strength
-the utility of planks as a elemental strengthening exercise
-how to master the art of planks
Ever wondered what core muscles actually comprise of?
It includes the abdominal back and pelvic muscles which are further fragmented to primary and secondary muscles. Pelvic floor muscles, abdominis, multifidus, rectus abdominis, erect or spine and diaphragm falls under former category while gluteus Maximus, latissimus dorsi and trapezoid fall under the latter. The core muscles being important helps in”
Back support : It removes chronic lower back pain permanently and builds a salubrious back
Posture: It provides a good body posture, trims the silhouette and renders confidence, mostly during old age
Routine movements : Movements like bending, sitting, rotating your torso needs core muscle mobility
Maintaining stable balance: With well acclimatized core comes free movement of lower and upper body parts.
However, over-working or under-working the muscles can lead to long term muscular injury.
Advantages of doing planks
The planks being a simple yet instrumental core exercise has miraculous benefits for the entire human body. It actuates the working of all the muscles in the abdomen area, the biceps, shoulders and buttocks area, also the quadriceps and shins.
Moreover, as I quote from The American Council on Exercise, “The practice of performing the classic plank on a regular basis significantly lowers upper and lower body back pains. This is a guarantee.”
The other profits which we gain from routinely and consistently doing planks are as follows:
-They heave or elevates your metabolism level
-They deeply engage the working of all core muscles that promise a fit body
-The bones and the joints of a human body are aligned and positioned properly as a result of doing planks. Henceforth a good body posture is maintained given any age
-They enhance muscle flexibility
-Planks specialize in revamping posterior muscles like shoulder blades, collar bones, hamstrings, foot arches and toe movements which becomes better with more practice
-Planks cultivate our mood
-The accumulated tension in the muscles is released due to planks
-Our legs, thighs, backs, shoulder muscles stretch, ease tension, tightness and pressure and helps us relax
-The flight and fight response of our brain betters.
Acing the classic plank technique
To begin with, keep the following steps and points in mind. It is important to:
1. Keep the back straight and well positioned
2. To engage all the abdominal muscles completely
3. Loosen and relax your mind and breathe slowly, inhale fresh air and exhale it out.
Before doing planks, it is better to do a bit of a stretching to flex the body muscles. Otherwise, muscle pain will begin.
First, you should lie face down and straight on the floor or the mat.
Next, it is important to keep your upper and lower body straight, stiff and rigid. Do not bend, otherwise you’ll get injured.
You should make a 90° angle with your upper arm and forearms.
You now have to support your entire body weight on your arms, mostly that of your upper portion. This means you have to support yourself on your forearms and toes. And do not forget to keep your body as straight as possible.
You now have to suck your stomach inwards, like a vacuum, towards your spine. You will now feel an engagement of your abdominal muscles.
Be it any exercise, mastering and mugging up the techniques is the principle element to keep in mind than any other thing. Your stomach shouldn’t be sagging down forward. This way you are not doing the plank correctly, be it for 20 or 30 minutes. Everyone should begin gradually. Starting off with a ten minute holding time and then progressively increasing the time is always the clever way to exercise. Wait until all your core muscles become stronger.
Anybody can do planks. You just have to be patient. Don’t get discouraged given your age or your weak body structure. Planks aren’t confined to any particular type. Exercises should be adopted slowly. It is a step by step procedure.
Remembering the basics and following all the techniques wholeheartedly will let you ace the magic exercise called the planks in no time. All the best!
The top 3 Books you must read:
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
- Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
The incredible featured image was taken by Youtube/Passion4Profession