Workout Routine 4 MIN READ 5574 VIEWS March 23, 2018

How To Do The Plank? What Are Its Types and Benefits?

Get The Amazing Tips Of Doing Planks. We Bring How To Do The Plank & What Are Its Types and Benefits?

Plank is the new fitness trend. Although not many people get excited to do planks, you’re just staring at the floor after all. But once you start doing them and master the art, planks can be fun and not to forget the benefits that they have. 

The basics are – they destroy your abs, strengthen your entire body especially your core muscles and lower back, and build your shoulders. You can plank easily at home and don’t even need any equipment for it. 

How To Plank? 

  • Follow these easy steps to get the right form. 
  • Get onto pushups position on the floor 
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms 
  • Make sure that your elbows and shoulders are aligned straight, and your body forms a straight line from head to toe
  • Relax your head and look at the floor
  • Hold on this position for as long as you can, the ultimate goal being holding a plank for 2 minutes 
  • Inhale and exhale slowly

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Most people don’t last for more than 30 seconds in the first few attempts and that’s ok. As you practice, you’ll slowly be able to increase the hold time. 

Plank Variations 

Once you’ve become a pro at basic planks, you can increase the difficulty level and try these variations: 

Single Leg Plank: Removing one point of contact from the ground increases the difficulty level. From the basic plank position, lift one leg towards the ceiling (as far as you can do it comfortably). Keep your hips parallel to the floor. Hold for 60 seconds and repeat with another leg. 
On The Ball Plank: Place your feet on a stability ball and your hands firmly placed on the ground. Squeeze your core and hold this plank for 1 minute. 
Knee Plank: This one is easier to hold as compared to a traditional plank. You can rest your knees on the ground and cause less tension in your lower back. 
Side Plank: From plank position, press your right hand into a mat and turn your body so your weight is on the outer edge of your right foot; stack your left foot on top. Hold this position for 60 seconds, return to plank position, and repeat for the left side.

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Benefits of Planks 

Plank is one of the most effective and simple core exercises that you can do right at your home. When you plank regularly, it nor just strengthens your core muscles but also burns calories. Here’s how planks are beneficial for you. 

1. Burn More Calories Than Traditional Core Exercises 

Even though you’re not moving or lifting heavy weight, but to hold the plank you constantly have to squeeze your abs. Experts also say that doing planks will burn more calories than any other traditional core exercise like crunches or sit-ups. 

2. Improves Postures 

If you slouch and want to improve your posture, then plank can be your new best friend. Doing them regularly will help improve stable standing posture. By working out on your core muscles you balance your shoulders, chest, neck, and back. 

3. Improves Overall Balance 

Having strong overall balance is of great importance. If you’re told to be in one position and still you hop from one spot to another, that’s because your core muscles are not strong enough. Plank your way to improve overall balance, strengthen core muscles, and improve performance in sports. 

4. Strengthens All Core Muscle Groups 

Plank recruits all major core muscle groups – rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. Transverse abdominus increases your ability to lift heavy weights and strengthens oblique muscles; glutes give your derriere the required shape and strength; rectus abdominus enhances your sports performance and also gives you six packs which are otherwise a major task to achieve. 

5. Reduces Risk of Back And Spinal Injury 

According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly will reduce back pain and also strengthen your lower back. Doing planks allows you to build muscle without putting too much pressure on your hips and back. 

6. Enhances Flexibility 

Another advantage of a plank is that it enhances flexibility. You stretch nearly all posterior muscle groups while performing a plank – shoulder, shoulder blade, and collarbone. Also, hamstrings, arches of feet, and toes are expanded. When doing a side plank, it would work on your oblique muscles as well.

7. Mental Benefits 

Planks have a positive effect on your nerves, thus, improving your mood. Planks not just calm your brain, but they also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression. All these benefits can only be reaped if you make planks a part of your daily exercise routine.  

5 Minutes Plank Workout 

You can’t get it right from the first go. But practice is the key. A lot of people ask how many times to plank. Following this 5-minutes plank workout will sort you out. It provides strength and you can plank easily every day using this routine. 

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Planks – Not for Everyone 

While we discussed the benefits of planks, there are certain categories of people who should avoid doing them. These include people:

  • Prolapse
  • After prolapse surgery 
  • Pelvic pain conditions 
  • Weak pelvic muscles 
  • Overweight 
  • Previous childbirth 

Make sure you talk to your trainer about the right technique to plank to avoid any injury. Also, consistency is the key. Doing planks every day will surely have a beneficial effect on your muscles and weight loss journey. 

How to hold a plank for longer? 

When you’re in a plank, it seems to be the longest one minute of your life. To make things a tad bit easy, follow these tips to hold your planks longer.

  • Practice a plank every day. 
  • Don’t look at the stopwatch. 
  • Try to read something or watch a video while in a plank. 
  • Start counting backwards, really slowly. 
  • Hold until it hurts, and then hold for 30 seconds more.
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