How to do a plank?

Do you want to stay away from the low back pain? How often do you perform core strengthening workout? And do you believe that exercise dose works best to revamp your physical health?

Just think for a while!

Well, exercises are about moving your body in different angles and dimensions besides with battling with the external stressors around you, but if you’re not correctly performing any exercise, especially planks, you won’t get the results that you want. Bodyweight exercises are now becoming more popular in the fitness world just because of their simplicity and applicability. With the help of bodyweight exercises, you can get into your desired shape and tone the flabby muscles. Planks are also the form of bodyweight exercises. However, its implications and consideration would vary.

So, what is the science behind planks?

Most of us think that a core is just limited to the tummy muscles, but, the main concept of core is it connects the muscles of upper and lower body, including your glutes, stomach, and back. The mechanical advantage of doing planks is your abdominal muscles are trained for what they’re actually designed and function to work isometrically. Also, the pull of gravity is the main constraint and challenge for the whole body’s muscles in planks. More you get into planks, more your muscles will be toned up and trained.

Dr. Jinger Gottcshall, an assistant professor of Kinesiology at Penn State University said that,

’ Your abs play an important role in maintaining the stability of the core muscles by sustaining the erect posture and proper spine’s alignment in order to keep your posture correct’.

He further added that planks are the premium core exercise as compared to crunches or sit-ups. Because planks provide more than 3-dimensional activation from shoulder to hip and hip to feet, this exercise is simply a multitude of benefits.

District Fitness Manager for crunch in Los Angeles, Jennifer Burke stated that planks actually set up the stage for other core exercises to be executed in most beneficial, effective, yet, efficient manner.

Dr. Glenn Wright, an associate professor of exercise science at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, ‘The main function of abs is to stop the motion and resisting the spine from unnecessary movement. So, when you perform planks, your core muscles are activated in the anatomical way and your lower back become more powerful.

Glutes, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and oblique muscles are mainly involved while performing the plank. But, several variations of the planks would also strengthen your deepest muscle of the body. you can perform the planks anywhere you want to and you don’t need any equipment so far. Nevertheless, if you want to increase the degree of difficulty, you can add up the resistance component as well.

What popular plank poses you should attempt?

As a beginner, you should start with a knee plank pose so that you won’t get any exercise-induced injury. It’s extremely difficult to even hold a plank pose for 10 secs (yes, it is). So, let’s begin the discussion!

  • Knee Plank

Get into the push-up position. Try lowering your knees to the floor. Extend your elbows and rest your weight onto the wrist. Make the straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold your tummy in. Maintain this position as much as you can tolerate. D0 3-5 sets.

Get into the prone position and support your body weight on toes and elbows. look forward and don’t hyperextend your neck. Keep your hands beneath the shoulder. Keep your back straight in a neutral spine position. And tuck your tummy in. make sure that your hip-feet are distanced apart. Initially, hold this position for 10 to 30 secs, but, as you get stronger, you can extend the time duration.

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get into the push-up position. Extend your elbows and rest your weight onto the wrist. Make the straight line from shoulders to ankles. Hold your tummy in. Maintain the hip-feet distance. Maintain this position as much as you can tolerate.

Side lie on your right side and prop up on your elbow. Keep your left foot on the right. And push your body up in order to build the triangle with the ground. The key to maintaining this pose try to lift up in such a way that you’re trying to touch the ceiling. Hold this position for about 10 to 30 secs and then, repeat this procedure on opposite side as well.

Get into the supine position and shift your bodyweight to the hands with elbows fully extended. Lift your torso and hips towards the ceiling. Make sure that you’re putting the weight on heels and palms properly. Look up, keep your arms and legs straight enough, and let your toes be pointed.

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Get into the full plank pose. Lift up your right arm forward with left leg. maintain the neutral position. Hold this position for a couple seconds, slowly return your arm and leg to the start position and alternate sides and repeat the action.

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What are the benefits of planks?

Planks is actually a win-win deal for not only your physical health, in fact, you would surely get positive changes in your mood and behavior. Your risk of injury and back problems could be decreased when you include planks in your workout. Your overall metabolism can also be enhanced. Your balance, posture, and flexibility can also be improved. Needless to say, that your core muscle will be more efficient and well-defined.

What things should you avoid while doing planks?

If you do the plank exercise inappropriately, the effects may be compromised. So, try not to make the following mistakes,

  1. Don’t drop your hips because it can put excessive pressure on your spine and would cause pain.
  2. Don’t raise your hips too much. As lifting up butts in the air could ease off your efforts, you won’t maintain the position that you should do.
  3. Don’t drop your neck. Try to look forward.
  4. Don’t hyperextend your neck.
  5. Don’t round your shoulders. If you’re doing this, your neck and shoulder will get strained.
  6. Don’t forget to hold your abs.
  7. Don’t keep your hands excessively apart.
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