The plank is one of the simplest exercises that you can do – it’s simple in its appearance and the amount of steps involved in doing one. Being simple, though, does not mean that doing a plank is easy.
Getting into plank pose can be easy. Holding a plank can even be easy, for a few seconds, but since the plank is an exercise position that can be held indefinitely, its difficulty can range from easy, short-term planks to excruciating tests of endurance. A heads up: easy, short-term planks aren’t the type that are going to provide you with much strength improvement.
Let’s look a little more in-depth at some of the wild health benefits you will see if you start doing planks on the regular.
Improve your posture
If you’re experiencing back pain from sitting at an office desk all day, here’s some good news: Planks can help improve your posture!
By strengthening your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs, this exercise makes it easier to keep your shoulders back and your lower back in a neutral position while sitting or standing — two vital components of good posture.
Planks also help you develop isometric strength in your core muscles, which gives you the power to keep from hunching while standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Become better coordinated
One of the best benefits of planking doesn’t come from actual muscle growth, but from its ability to help you train your muscles to be more stable.
The body uses its core muscles to help maintain balance. This is obvious when you’re running, biking, exercising in any way – or during active leisure activities like dancing. Many people think that their extremities are responsible for their balance, and they are, in part – but the majority of your stabilization comes from your core.
Having a strong core helps you avoid injuries that could be caused to single muscle groups that might be over exerted by trying to maintain balance during aggressive exercise. For example, snowboarding relies heavily on the calves for balance, and having a strong core can reduce some of this strain.
Increases Muscle Definition
Along with your abdomen, Plank Pose also strengthens the muscles in your shoulders, chest, legs, and back. The functionality of this pose combined with the isometric hold helps strengthen and build lean muscle to increase overall muscle definition on the body.
Boosts Mood and Relieves Stress
Practicing Plank Pose, or any physical activity, releases a neurochemical substance in the brain called endorphins, which are known to increase feelings of happiness and decrease feelings of stress. This pose can also aid in tension relief, as your body is encouraged to stretch and lengthen when performing the pose.
One of the most important benefits of planks is its ability to boost your metabolism. Planking challenges your entire body at a time. This one form of workout helps you burn more calories than regular crunches and sit-ups. This muscle-strengthening exercise helps you burn more energy even if you are sitting the whole day. Practicing planks 10 times a day, for a stretch of 60 seconds boosts your metabolism and keeps it high throughout the day.
Absolutely a great one, without having to run for miles and miles on the treadmill, all the while toning up your whole body at the same time. When you plank, you are making your body work harder than you think, almost every single muscle is engaged. Obviously the core muscles work the hardest but what about that upper body? And your legs too? It’s a challenging move but your metabolism will go through the roof. For those of us who really don’t like to go to a gym or are not disciplined enough to break into a full work out at home, try planking. This one move can kick your whole body into calorie burning, muscle toning, back strengthening mode. Starting can be done on your knees and as you get more comfortable and stronger you can then advance to planking on your toes. You’ll love this one so much you won’t be able to go a day without it.