There’s nothing quite like bodyweight exercises. They’re convenient and can be done practically anywhere. In fact, one of the most effective exercise for your core is the plank. They give you the best results in the shortest span of time with little to no risk of injury. They’re so useful that planks can be used for both performance and rehabilitation.
People who spend more than 5 hours sitting each day need to do planks. Why? Because sitting for long hours at a time weaken your core muscles which are crucial for providing support for you back and spinal column. The weaker your core, the more prone to injuries you will be. And planks are especially helpful in countering the detrimental effects of sitting.
In addition, doing plank exercises every day will also give you other health benefits you may not have thought about:
1. Boost Overall Metabolism
When it comes to fat loss, the more muscles you recruit during an exercise the higher your energy expenditure.
And planking is an excellent exercise for activating all the muscles in your body. Not only do they work better at burning calories than traditional crunches or sit-ups, but they’re also safer.
2. Improve Core Performance
Functional exercises as effective as planks are hard to come by. You’ll rarely find anything else that can improve your performance the way planks do.
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Whether you’re walking, swimming, running or lifting weights, try warming up with planks. You’ll notice a big difference.
3. Decreased Risk of Injury To The Back & Spine
Planks help you build muscle and endurance while also keeping your risk of injury to a minimum. That’s why they’re so popular with athletes and physiotherapists.
According to the American Council on Exercise,
“Because the plank exercise requires minimal movement while contracting all layers of the abdominal fascia, it is an excellent way to strengthen the core, which, in turn, helps reduce low-back pain.”
4. More Flexibility
Flexibility is a great benefit of planking regularly. This form of exercise stretches muscle groups like your shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone, while also stretching your hamstrings, and arching the feet & toes.
You can further increase the stretching benefits by doing a rocking plank. To do this, set yourself up in basic plank form and gently rock your body back and forth by moving your toes a few inches either way.
5. Improved Posture
Planks stimulate all the muscles you need to maintain good posture, like your back, chest, shoulders, abs, and neck.
If you’ve always had trouble sitting or standing up straight, then start doing planks. You’ll find yourself able to sit or stand up straighter with ease within just a few days.
6. Improved Balance
Doing side planks or planks with extensions are particularly useful for building balance, as are planks performed on a stability ball.
7. Mental Health Benefits
Spending hours a day sitting in your chair at home or at work can cause tension and stress in your shoulders, core and lower body muscles.
Fortunately, planking will stretch out these muscle groups and as a result improve your overall mood.
In addition, like any of form of exercise, planking can also help calm the brain, treat anxiety and help relieve symptoms of depression.
Learn how to plank here.