Due to the ongoing pandemic, many gyms around the world have had to close, leaving many people with no space to exercise. This has forced people to be more creative with their training.
One of the best alternatives is bodyweight training, which is why it is becoming increasingly popular with fitness enthusiasts around the world. It’s simple, practical, and you can do it outdoors too.
When it comes to working out with just your body weight, there is one exercise you won’t want to miss out on. It’s one of those exercises that will never go out of style, just like push-ups and pull-ups, and it’s also one of the most effective exercises you can do. We’re talking about the plank.
Running planks is very simple, but it can produce significant results in a relatively short amount of time.
The main muscle group of the plank targets are the abs. They play an essential role in good posture and provide support for the back. Strong abdominal muscles also play a big role in injury prevention.
What if you do planks every day?
The classic plank
Lie on your stomach on the floor. Get into a push-up position, but instead of your palms, use your elbows for support. Keep your torso straight and stiff. Resist bending.
Imagine a line going from your ears to your toes. Your head should be relaxed and you can keep looking at the floor. To start with, it is enough to hold this position for at least 10 seconds. Then you can gradually increase the time to as long as you want.
One of the ways you can make them even more difficult is to raise one of your arms and / or legs. You should always keep your abs busy and not let your abs go down or move your hips up. Keep your pelvis sloping towards the floor to avoid pushing your hips and butt out. Take a deep breath. Breathe in and out slowly.
Benefits of regular execution of planks
You will strengthen your abs and glutes
One of the main advantages of floorboards is having a strong core. The plank is an ideal ab exercise because it targets the entire set of core muscles, including the transverse abdominals and the straight abdominal muscles ( rectus abdominis), the external oblique muscles around the stomach and glutes.
You can’t neglect to exercise these muscles as each of the above groups has a purpose. If you make everyone stronger, this is what will happen:
Transverse Abs – Your ability to lift heavier weights increases.
Rectus abdominis – you increase your overall athletic performance, especially when jumping. This is the group that represents the famous “six pack”.
Obliques – your ability to bend and twist at the waist improves.
Glutes – they offer more to your back.
You reduce your risk of injury
The plank is a type of exercise that allows you to build muscle mass without putting too much pressure on your back and hips. According to some studies, planks will not only relieve back pain, but will also strengthen your waist muscles and provide strong back support, especially above.
They will speed up your metabolism
One of the benefits of planks is a faster metabolism. Planking can stimulate the entire body, and doing it every day burns more calories than any other (body weight) exercise that also involves abs like pushups. Stronger muscles from doing planks every day will result in higher energy expenditure, even when you are resting. This is especially important if you have a sedentary job and sit at a desk for most of your day.
Even exercising lightly for 10 minutes each day before or after work will not only speed up your metabolism but also keep it elevated for hours after your activity.
You will improve your posture
Making planks works wonders for your posture. Once your core gets stronger, you will be able to maintain correct posture in any situation as the strength of your abdominal muscles will better support your neck, back, shoulders, chest, and arms.
They improve your stability
Have you ever tried standing on one leg and struggled to hold that position for more than a few seconds? Your abs may not be strong enough to provide the stability you need. If you strengthen your abs with a board and other variations of planks, you will see significant improvement in almost any type of physical activity.
You become more flexible
One of the main advantages of floorboards is flexibility. As you maintain a plank position, expand and straighten your shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone while tightening your hamstrings, leg loops, and toes. When you start doing side boards too, you are also targeting the obliques, which will further improve your overall flexibility.
They improve your physical and mental health
It has been shown that floorboards have a unique impact on our nervous system and can dramatically improve our mood. It does this through direct targeting of the muscle groups that affect stress and body tension.
For example, suppose you work in an office and sit in a chair all day. Over time, you may feel your hamstrings contract, you may feel heavy in your legs, and you may feel increased tension in your shoulders. This is how stress builds up in your muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only keep your brain healthy, but they also help reduce anxiety and feelings of depression. The more you do it, the more you keep depression at bay.
Common mistakes to avoid when planking
The most common mistakes in the execution of boards generally fall into two groups. In the first group the mistakes related to overestimating your abilities and trying out new plank variations too early and in the second group the mistakes are due to a lack of suitable technique. Let’s examine them in more detail.
As mentioned earlier, the most common mistakes are related to trying advanced variations too early. Instead of properly learning the technique of a baseplank, where your wrists and toes are perfectly managing your weight, many people strive to reach an advanced level that requires greater total force, e.g. B. Planks with legs raised or opposite arms, plank with a Bosu ball or an exercise ball, etc.
Often times, attempting such variations can lead to muscle imbalances and sometimes even injury. Because of this, you need to master the classic plank first before moving on to anything more advanced.
The second most common group of errors concerns errors. This is easier to see – the butt is pushed out, the shoulder blades don’t join, the shoulders drop, the head is bowed, the stomach is loose, the funnel chest, etc.
If you’re not sure you’re getting it right, don’t be afraid to ask someone with more experience. So there are all the advantages that planks have to offer. You will not be disappointed.