Planking exercise is a workout technique that helps build and improve everything from glutes, shoulders, lower back, and abdominals. Building a stronger core makes almost all physical exercises easier and greatly reduces injury risks when exercising and in everyday life.
What is Plank Workout?
Planking exercises (Do not confuse it with that strange craze) are effective but very simple bodyweight exercises.
These exercises involve holding the body stiff like a board, which then helps develop strength mainly in the core (these are muscles that connect the upper and lower parts of the body; including the glute, arms, and shoulders).
Planking is a form of static exercise, which simply means the body has to stay in one position for a particular period. It also means that no equipment is needed and can be performed anywhere.
How Planking Workout Helps Build A Stronger Core
Many women are determined to get a flat stomach. However, a majority of them have realized that determination will not get you far when the approach is wrong.
At the same time, it does not matter the hours you put in your exercises such as crunches, you will not get the benefits of a 10-minute planking workout.
Therefore, if you are looking for a flat toned stomach, plank exercises help by working core muscles (learn more here: https://flexmastergeneral.com/plank-workouts-for-your-abs/).
How does it work?
Well, plank exercise work on different muscles that connect the upper and lower part of the body. This leaves makes the muscles stronger and toned. Hence achieving a stronger core.
NOTE: Core muscles play a huge role that includes supporting the whole body, improve posture, and reduce back pain.
The Best Plank Workouts For Building A Stronger Core
Plank workouts will surely help you achieve your goal. However, there are several plank workout variations that one must take into consideration if they are interested in strengthening core muscles. They Include:
Standard Plank Workout
This is a simple form of planking where both legs and hands touch the ground. Furthermore, it is often the first option people begin with when planking. To do a standard plank correctly, you have to plant your hands directly under the shoulders.
Your hands should be slightly wider compared to the shoulder width. Make it look like you are about to do Push-Up. Then ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glute muscles for body stability.
Neutralize the spine and neck. This can be achieved by looking at a spot on the floor, some foot from the hands.
Remember the head should be in line with the back. For the exercise to be effective, it’s wise to stay in that position for more than 20 seconds.
The more you become comfortable with this exercise, hold your plank for as long as possible without affecting your breath or form.
Forearm Plank Workout
This is another variation that is common and slightly easier compared to holding the body up with just hands. To do this exercise correctly, you must place your forearms on the ground.
Elbows should be aligned below the shoulder and parallel to the body. If you are bothered with flat palms, then you may wrist or clasp your hands together. It is important to remember that all plank variations can be done with a straight forearm or arms position.
Knee Plank Workout
To many people, this variation very easy to hold compared to the normal straight-arm plank. This makes it the best for beginners since it allows them to concentrate on form.
To perform this exercise correctly, one should begin by resting their knees on the ground, which reduces stress on the lower back. For comfort, it is wise to consider using a mat or towel.
Side Plank Workout
This form of plank workout variation help improves side muscles of the core compared to the standard plank workout. To perform this exercise correctly, one should lie on one side (right or left) and let the legs stack on top of each other.
Then prop the body up using the elbow or hand, while maintaining the same position and principle.
You may modify the position by simply raining the opposing leg or arm (maybe both) in the air to make the exercise a little bit difficult. You can also make the workout easier by simply crossing the upper legs in front of the body for additional support.
Single-Leg Plank Workout
This is yet another variation and it is simple to perform. it is also very effective because it increases the demand on the core. It begins by simply removing one point of contact from the ground.
Then position your body into a basic plank and then lift one leg towards the ceiling. The leg should go as far as possible but you should be comfortable.
At the same time, you should not go beyond a point where it compromises the back. The hips should be parallel to the floor. After some time, alternate the legs to make the whole process effective.
Medicine Ball Plank Workout
This variation of plank exercise involves the use of a medicine ball. It allows a person to increase the intensity of the workout.
To perform this workout, plant both hands on a medicine ball rather than on the floor. In other words, this exercise is like a standard plank but rather placing your hands on the floor, you plant them on the ball.
Stabilizing the body on an unstable ball creates a balancing issue, which demands more on your core muscles. Remember to follow the same steps for the standard plank, but use the ball and let it be directly under the shoulders.
Health Benefits Of Doing Plank Workout
- A Toned Belly
- Reduce Back Pain
- Improve Your Mood
- Improve Your Balance and Posture
Well, if you are looking for a great way to strengthen your core muscles then plank workout is the way to go. The good thing about this exercise is that it can be done on its own. In other words, it does not necessarily need other forms of exercise for it to be effective. However, a person is not limited.
They can combine this exercise with others such as sit-up.