Benefits of Plank Exercises
When it comes to a defined six-pack, everyone wants in. The key to having washboard abs besides nutrition is continuous and varied training. While all of us have abs, for some they are hidden deep down in our core (pun intended!). If you get our drift, now would be a good time to introduce you to a simple static hold that engages your core - the plank. The plank is one of the easiest ways to build core strength. While a plank might look easy, it is a movement that engages several muscle groups. If you’ve ever wondered how long a minute lasts, we recommend that you try holding a plank!
A strong core can take you a long way. We reckon, the simple (yet tedious) plank should be part of everybody’s daily exercise regime. Here are some plank exercise benefits you might be interested in. The plank works on all 6 abdominal muscles, simultaneously building core strength. Additionally, this isometric hold works on your shoulders, chest, legs and back helping to increase muscle definition and strength. By engaging in muscle activity, you can increase your metabolism and torch those extra calories. A plank hold can also improve balance and posture. By strengthening your core, your body automatically relies less on your back for support. People who plank everyday have noticed a significant reduction in back pain. With a plethora of benefits, it is definitely understandable that the plank is up there in our exercise toolkit. Pro tip: the quality of your plank always beats the quantity (time). So start strong, stay committed, have a fun time with it and wait for the magic to happen.
Whether you start out loving to hate or hating to love this one, we just want you to start. Here are some basic steps to help guide you towards the perfect plank:
Step 1: For the most effective stance, make sure your hands are stacked directly under your shoulder. Keep your hips level and your feet hip width apart.
Step 2: Curl your toes, squeeze your glutes, squeeze your abs and lift yourself off the floor. A tight core will ensure your body is stable throughout your plank
Step 3: Keep your neck in line with your spine and don't forget to breathe breathe breathe. Try to hold your plank for 20 seconds to start and work your way up as you feel comfortable.
Once you’ve mastered the strict plank, here are some variations you might like to try-
Forearm Plank- This is a variation of the strict plank and helps relieve some stress on the shoulders. While everything else remains the same, in this hold place your elbows on the floor below the shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to each other. Palms can remain flat or you can interlock your fingers to keep your hands together.
Side Plank - This variation engages your obliques as well as your 6 core muscles. To perform this plank, lap on your side, stack your feet on top of each other and lift your body off with your arm and hold
Plank Jacks - You start in a regular plank hold pose and then kick your legs out wide and bring them back to center. This variation works on core strength with a little cardio thrown into the mix. Be sure to keep your hips as levelled as possible to achieve the maximum burn from your plank.
If you’ve got this far in the article, we’ve at least convinced you to try the plank. If you still need some motivation, you could find a gym in Dubai near you. We have multiple outlets to serve you better. You can choose from our gym in JLT, Media city. If that’s not enough we have a gym in Downtown or you can come down to our Motor city gym branch. If you still aren’t prepared to commit to the cause, why not hire a personal trainer in Dubai? Personal trainers are important to check your form, to make sure you get the most out of your training routine and of course to take your fitness goals to infinity and beyond!
See you on the mat.
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