benefits of doing plank exercise
Strengthens Multiple Muscle Groups
Plank exercise is one of the greatest isometric muscle training exercise. This exercise works out for many of your muscle groups like abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominal, internal and external obliques), back muscles (rhomboids, trapezius), shoulder muscles (rotator cuff, deltoids), arm muscles (biceps, triceps), chest muscles (pectoral) and leg muscles (quadriceps).
Improves Your Posture
This exercise helps in straighting of your spine and train’s all the muscles which are involved in holding your lower back in a neutral position. Plank exercise increases your core stability which improves your balance and flexibility while sitting or standing, resulting into a great posture.
Reduces Risk Of Back Injuries
It makes your lower back strong which reduces the amount of stress generated in your spine hence lower risk of back pain. If you’re suffering from back pain then this exercise is great for aiding the problem as plank stretches your spine and strengthens your lower back muscles.
Increases Your Metabolism
This exercise burns large amount of calories in comparison with other core exercises. Plank exercise also strengthens many muscle groups which increases your metabolism and burns calories even when you are resting or doing no physical activity.
Improves Mental Health
Performing this move releases chemicals known as endorphins which relieves stress from your body and elevates your mood. While working in our day to day life, the work generates stress in our muscles causing tension and anxiety. Plank exercise makes your muscles stronger so they can cope up with the stress.
Many muscles like biceps, triceps, quadriceps and abdominal muscles are used for holding the position. Holding the position for maximum time possible develops and tones your muscles. Plank tones your muscles better than weight training exercises.
Increases Strength And Endurance
Plank exercise works out for many major muscle groups which increases both strength and endurance. This exercise is also performed by athletes due the great benefits it contains. Plank also increases your performance in sports activities.
Step By Step Instructions To Perform Plank Exercise
1) Start this exercise by getting into a push up position.
2) Balance your body with help of your forearms.
3) Your back should be straight and your legs hip width apart.
4) Your head should be inline with your spine.
5) Your elbows should be aligned with your shoulders.
6) Now engage your core muscles and hold the position for at least 1 minute.
7) Inhale from your nose and exhale from your mouth. Breathing is important while performing this exercise.
This is one set of plank exercise.
If you’re a beginner then start this exercise by holding the position for at least 1 minute in a single set. Perform total 3 sets of this exercise.
If you have some experience then you can hold the position up to 2 minutes in a single set. Perform at least 4 sets of this exercise.
Variations Of Plank Exercise
Side plank is an isometric abdominal muscle training exercise performed for training internal and external obliques. It also develops your hips, chest, shoulder and legs muscles.
This exercise is performed by balancing your body with help of your forearm on either sides for maximum time possible. This exercise also plays a major role for preventing back pain problems.
Mountain climber exercise is one of the greatest isometric exercise for developing cardio endurance, core strength and agility in your body. This exercise primarily works for your core, hip flexor and shoulder muscles.
Mountain climber exercise is performed by forming into a pushup position and then moving your legs towards your chest alternatively. This exercise is great for building six pack abs.
STRAIGHT ARM PLANK
Straight arm plank exercise is an isometric muscle training exercise, which is quite similar to an elbow plank. This exercise is a bit difficult than elbow plank as you have to balance your body with help of your hands.
This move works more on your upper body than your abdominal muscles. So it’s your choice, if you want to focus more on your abs then elbow plank is an ideal choice.
If you want to work on your upper body then straight arm plank is a great choice.
SWISS BALL JACK KNIFE
The swiss ball jack knife is a core training exercise performed for stabilizing your abdominal muscles. This exercise develops strength, balance and flexibility in your body.
Swiss ball jack knife exercise is performed by getting into a pushup position, keeping your legs on the swiss ball and moving the swiss ball towards your chest with help of your feet. This is an advance exercise and requires great balance to control it.
Burpee is a full body strength training exercise performed as an aerobic or crossfit exercise. This exercise works for many major muscle groups of your body.
The basic movement involves both squat and push-up exercise. Burpees are performed by standing up straight. Lowering your body in a squat position and then getting into a pushup position. Returning back to squat position and then standing up. This movement is great for improving cardio fitness and burning large amount of calories.
LEGS ELEVATED PLANK
The elevated legs on the swiss ball makes the legs elevated plank exercise more difficult than elbow plank exercise. This exercise is more effective in training abdominal muscles and lower back.
Legs elevated plank exercise is performed by getting into a pushup position. Keeping your legs on the swiss ball hold the position for maximum time possible. This exercise helps in relieving back pain problems.
DUMBBELL PLANK ROW
Dumbbell plank row is a multi functional exercise which primarily strengthens your abdominal muscles and back muscles. This is the only plank variant exercise which target’s your lats and rhomboid muscles.
This exercise is performed by getting into a plank pose and rowing the set of dumbbells alternatively towards your chest. This exercise stabilizes your spine and challenges your core.