Planks are one of the most popular abs exercise to work your entire core. It can be performed almost everywhere and by almost everyone since it doesn’t require any equipment.
Even though it seems very simple, it is an exercise that can improve your fitness level a lot as it can work out several muscle groups at once.
Planking is an exercise you should definitely include in your six-pack daily routine.
Are planks a good exercise for abs?
Planking will increase your abdominal strength.
One of the main benefits of implementing planks into your abs exercise routine is that they can improve your abdomen strength. This includes the muscles and joints that connect your upper and lower body.
When you bend, turn or lift things you are engaging the core. In consequence, it’s important to work them out.
Planking regularly will make you stronger and make the completion of everyday tasks much easier.
Are planks effective?
Planks will help you have a flat stomach. They are more effective in making your stomach flat and toned when compared to crunches.
Actually, an editorial by the Navy Times states that crunches can even lead to back injuries.
Furthermore, according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, plank exercises are better than crunches because they engage 100% of your abdominal muscles while crunches only workout around 64% of them.
Can they hurt your back?
Planks will make your back stronger.
The problem with other core strength workouts, such as crunches and sit-ups, is that they can injure your back.
On the other hand, planks will strengthen your back muscles, particularly the upper back.
And because planks involve maintaining a neutral spine as opposed to continual flexing, your spinal column won’t experience the continuous strain as in other abs exercises.
Planks can enhance your posture and your balance
When you regularly perform planks, you will have a better posture and balance. This also means that you will be able to stand and sit straighter without difficulty.
Keep in mind that your core muscle group has an outstanding effect on the muscles of your body, and can even prevent or reduce postural problems.
Planks will improve your flexibility
Since planks can expand and stretch the muscles around your shoulders, collarbone, hamstrings, scapula, feet, and toes, this form of abs exercise can offset the natural loss of muscle elasticity, which happens as you get older.
As you do more side planks your flexibility and your coordination will improve.
Planks will boost your mood
Since planks stretch and relaxes muscles that are usually stiffened due to stress, they will help you get rid of anxiety and symptoms of depression.
Can planks reduce belly fat?
Planks can boost your metabolism and lead you to burn belly fat more effectively.
Although planks won’t beat cardio or HIIT exercises regarding weight loss, this form of strength training is effective to tone and lose weight too. Also, can increase the rate of your metabolism even after you are finished with your workout.
According to different studies, for every pound of muscle that you achieve, you will be able to burn approximately 50 calories more each day.
What muscle groups do planks work?
Plank is an exercise that works for everybody, whether you are a man, a woman or a teenager, you will be able to do it.
What is more important, planks involve all the major groups of core muscles, including transverse and oblique abdominal muscles, the buttocks and the glutes.
It also works the biceps, shoulders, hip, neck, back and chest muscles.
It is one of the most complete exercises there is.
How to plank properly
The key with the plank is to engage your core muscles in the right way so that through the effort of balancing and stabilizing your body, you are giving your core muscles a fantastic workout.
The form is very important when you are doing any kind of plank, so if you are brand new to planks start with the very basic until you can hold it for about 30 seconds, and then work your way up.
Engaging the core is the secret
Keep your abs engaged at all times, keep your belly button sucked into your spine.
Your body should be straight the whole time, don’t push your butt too high or too low because that could cause you back problems.
What is the forearm plank?
The elbow or forearm plank is the most basic version of the plank that you can do.
You want to position your elbows so that your shoulders are right above them.
Stamp your fists into the ground and extend your legs, so that your crown is reaching.
One straight line from your feet to your head
Push up through your heels as the crown is reaching straight forward. Straight through your crown, through your hips and right straight through your heels.
Pull through the core, imagine there’s a string attached to your belly button and you’re hanging from the ceiling, so you’re constantly engaging that core.
Relax the bottom as you push through the heels.
Now push out of your shoulders, so you’re high off the ground, you’re not dumping in your shoulders and you’re not dropping your hips below parallel.
Position your feet comfortably.
Many muscle groups are worked at the same time
This exercise is great not only for the stomach (abdominal muscles) but for your back, your hips, your shoulders, and your chest.
What is the high plank?
You can perform this exercise in two different ways, if you are a total beginner place your knees on the floor to help you out but if you are a little bit more advanced go for the high plank, don’t let your knees to touch the floor and try to stay on your hands instead of on your forearms, is going to make it more intense.
What is the side plank?
Put your arm on a 90-degree angle on the floor.
What you’re gonna do is you’re going to curl your toes.
You’re going to take the right foot up, left foot going to go on your toes and then your right feet is going to go back.
You can move that left knee up a little, so you create one straight line from the right heel through your left palm. Imagine your back spot against the wall.
And then what you’re going to do is slowly, you’re going to roll up so that this left arm is going to go up and forward, so you’re taking this arm up and creating one long line of energy, from your right fingertips all the way down through that right heel.
Remember to work both sides
This is an excellent exercise to work your obliques and get rid of those hateful love handles.
How to do plank crunches?
Plank is a high push-up, but we’re going to start with our hands turned out at about 45 degrees.
You’re going to roll them out so you can inwardly follow your arms. It’s gonna give you a little more strength in the chest.
Then you’re going to walk your feet back, so you’re gonna come into a high push-up.
You can just lean forward right here and then lift up.
You must not fly the elbows out but bring the elbows in. So the eyes of the elbows are pointing forward.
Feet together, one straight line of energy, reach out through your crown, reach up through your heels.
You’re gonna lift up the left leg, point straight back and you are going to bring it in.
You’re rounding through the sacrum, really crunching in triangle nose to your knee, inwardly spiraling your arms. Taking the pressure off your shoulders, just hold for a few seconds and then send that leg back.
Do the same with the right leg.
How can planks change your body?
When you do the plank exercise your body burns fat faster, especially your belly fat.
Planking can enhance your core strength, it can help you have a flat stomach, it can make your back stronger, it can enhance your posture and balance, it can improve your flexibility and it can boost your metabolism.
What are planks with rotation?
1. Hip dip plank
You start from an elbow plank position and then swing your hips from one side to the other.
Make sure you are squeezing your abs and you are dipping that hip right, far to the ground.
Squeeze your obliques as much as you can while you are rotating from left to right.
Can planks be performed with a ball?
This is a little bit complicated. You must find your balance on top of the ball using your forearms.
Your body has to be like in any other plank, straight.
You have to push out and fully extend your arms, like with an ab roller. You can add a little bit of rotation if you feel comfortable enough.
Remember to have your abs contracted at all times with all the exercises and don’t forget to breathe deeply, inhale when you extend and exhale when you contract the abs, this can make a difference.
Bodyweight is the future
Bodyweight exercises are increasingly becoming widely accepted In the fitness world, because of the practicality of using your body as weight.
Planks are one of the bodyweight exercises that won’t go out of fashion any time soon.
Aside from not requiring any equipment and a significant amount of time to perform, the many forms of plank exercises can also help you achieve significant results when done right.