1. Improved Core Definition
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles because they engage all major core muscle groups, including the abdominals, the obliques, and even the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:
Increased ability to lift heavier weights
Improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
Improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
A supported back with strong buttocks.
2. Decreased Risk of Back Injury
Doing a plank everyday will allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. One of the plank exercise benefits is it can strengthen your back muscles and ensure more support and stability for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.
3. Metabolism Boost
Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The core muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a daily basis will ensure that you burn more energy (even when sedentary) because they are some of the largest muscles in the body.
This is especially important if you spend the majority of your day sitting at a desk or in front of a computer. Making it a daily home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate, but it will also ensure that your metabolism remains high all day long.
4. Improved Posture
Planks can greatly improve your posture. A strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits. Good posture keeps your bones and joints in the correct alignment, which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained, but it also means the overall condition of your muscles will be improved.
Good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position, so you will suffer less back pain. On top of everything else, someone with good posture looks healthier and more confident overall.
5. Improved Balance
Have you ever felt that when you try standing on one leg, you can’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you are clumsy, but rather because your abdominal muscles aren’t strong enough to give you the balance you need.
Many people assume that balance is mostly based on the legs, but most of the work is actually happening in your core as it keeps you stable and upright. Improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions will boost your balance and performance in every kind of fitness activity and in your daily life as well.
6. More Flexibility
Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, as this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups—shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone—while also stretching your hamstrings, the arches of your feet, and the toes.
With side planks added to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes…a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.
7. Improved Mood
Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. This works because they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body.
Imagine you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long. Your thigh muscles get tight, your bent legs become heavy, and tension develops in your shoulders from slumping forward all day.
These are all circumstances that put stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression…but only if you make it part of your daily routine.
Try plank walks in the morning to keep it interesting and challenging:
Plank walkouts are excellent for warming up the entire body. Every muscle is involved from the shoulders and upper torso to core, legs, glutes, and lower back.
From a standing position, fold forward to place your hands on the floor at your feet. Slowly walk your hands forward until you’re in a plank position. Hold for a second before walking your hands back to meet your feet. Return to standing and repeat the move for 30 - 60 seconds.
If you want to do something, do it the right way! Stay healthy and make it your lifestyle.
Your house of shape coach, Angela