Planks are one of the most common exercises found in everyone’s routine. Plank exercises also have multiple benefits!
Benefits of Planks
1. You improve core definition and performance.
This one is the most obvious reason for what happens when you do a plank every day. You’ll rarely find anything else that can improve your performance the way planks do.
2. You’ll Strengthen Your Back
While some exercises to work the core can actually weaken and potentially injure the back (such as sit-ups or crunches), the plank will actually help to strengthen the core. In particular, the upper back muscles become stronger when you plank.
3. Your Posture and Balance Will Improve
Doing planks greatly improves both your posture and balance and, when carried out regularly, planks help you to sit or stand up straighter with ease.
Ways to Plank
This is what most people consider to be a standard plank. Lie facedown with legs extended and elbows bent and directly under shoulders; clasp your hands. Feet should be hip-width apart, and elbows should be shoulder-width apart. Contract your abs, then tuck your toes to lift your body; you should be in a straight line from head to heels when the forearm plank is done correctly.
From plank position, press your left hand into a mat and turn your body so your weight is on the outer edge of your left foot; stack your right foot on top. Imagine you have a big beach ball under your left side; press your torso up and away from the ball, extending your right arm with fingers pointed toward the sky. Tighten your lower-ab muscles and brace your entire core. Hold for however long, then return to plank position and repeat on the right side.
Additional Plank questions
How many calories will I burn?
On an average, a person who weighs roughly 150 pounds will burn around 221 calories in an hour by doing planks. Planks are useful also because it continues to burn calories even after you stop exercising.
How do I improve my plank time?
One way to improve your plank time is practice. Perform planks several times each day, trying to hold the plank position a little longer each time.
Another way to improve your plank time is bodyweight exercises.
Pushups and pullups will improve your core strength.