If you are still doing sit-ups and crunches, then it’s time to trade in those outdated ab exercises for something much more effective—planks! On top of providing a true “full-body” workout, this pose allows for core strengthening that is much safer and less time consuming than traditional exercises.
Here are the 7 amazing things that will happen to your body if you dedicate yourself to performing planks each and every day…
While the plank pose can give you benefits that you will feel throughout your entire body, it is best known for increasing core strength. Just think of them as sit-ups with superpowers—this pose works the entire center of the body, from the back, to the abs, to the obliques, all at once!
If you’ve been to the gym lately, you may have noticed that there are less and less people doing sit-ups. This is because the general consensus of U.S.-based trainers is that, when performed with the goal of core-strengthening, sit-ups can cause lower back pain and injuries.
There is even talk that the Navy and Marine Corps are going to ditch the sit-ups and practice planking exclusively in their exercise routines.
- ArturVerkhovetskiy via Deposit Photos
It’s no secret that as we get older, our metabolisms tend to come to a screeching halt. To combat this, trainers recommend planks more than any other exercise. You’ll burn more calories than traditional sit-ups, which will eventually lead to stronger core muscles that will burn more energy throughout the day. A must for anyone who works a desk job!
Have you noticed that your shoulders have been sagging recently? If so, it’s time that you work on your back and ab strength. Planks are the perfect exercise for this problem, as you are essentially killing two (or four!) birds with one stone.
When performed correctly, the pose targets the obliques, abs, shoulders, and back muscles. If these areas are strong, then you will have a much easier time maintaining healthy posture throughout the day.
Coordination has more to do with strength than practice. Focusing on maintaining a strong core will help you lead from the center, which makes it so that the rest of your body doesn’t have to do so much work. This is especially valuable for athletes who rely on their legs, such as swimmers, runners, and cyclists.
Believe it or not, planks won’t just strengthen your muscles, they will also help them become more flexible. Since this exercise acts as a whole-body workout of sorts, the position allows for the muscles surrounding the collarbone, shoulder blades, hamstrings, and even toes to stretch. If you are looking to increase the mobility in your obliques, try a side plank!
Anyone who has devoted their time to practicing yoga knows that while some poses can be more trying than others, that time on the mat can be a truly gratifying experience. Getting into a plank pose forces you to focus on both your breathing and your body as a whole. For many, this simple practice works to quiet worry, increase mindfulness, and enhance mood.
Who knew one exercise could do so much? To begin a routine of your own, start out slow, with 2 or 3 reps of 30-second planks. You should feel the burn almost instantly! As you get stronger, you can increase the time and reps to best suit your new, strong bod.
What do you think of these benefits? Do you practice planks? If so, do you have any tips for beginners?