Planks are one of the best exercises, primarily because anyone can do them. You don’t need to go to the gym, and you don’t need to be fit. In fact, the plank can be modified so that anyone - even total beginners - can start toning their core muscles. No more excuses! Click “Next” to see 10 reasons why you need to do more planks.
1. Planks can be modified for any fitness level
Planks are such a great exercise because they can change with you to provide a continuous challenge. When you start, there are variations that make it easier to hold the plank. As you improve, things like elevating your feet on a stability ball (or even a footstool) can make holding a plank harder.
2. Planks can help to tone your tummy
Studies have shown that planks engage more of those six-pack-related muscles than crunches - so if you want a toned stomach, it’s time to start doing more planks. Performed correctly, planks engage your core at a level that’s unmatched by any other exercise. Of course, things like cardiovascular activity, diet, and resistance training are also necessary to achieve washboard abs.
3. Planks can help to decrease back pain
One awesome side effect of a stronger core is reduced back pain. Your muscles, particularly your upper back muscles, will inevitably get stronger the more you plank - and that means there is less strain put on them daily.
4. Planks can help to increase flexibility
When it comes to certain muscle groups, like shoulders, hamstrings, and feet, practicing your planks can help to improve your flexibility. A side plank can also give your sides a good stretch, especially if you extend one arm up over your head in line with your body.
5. Planks work lots of different muscle groups
One of the main reasons people favor the plank is because it’s great for achieving a flat stomach. However, you’re also toning plenty of other muscles in the process! Targeting your shoulders, arms, upper back, hamstrings, glutes, and hips, in addition to your abdominals, the plank makes your whole body work.
6. Planks improve balance and posture
Side planks and planks on a stability ball are great exercises for improving balance and posture. You know all of those muscles you’re working? Well they just happen to be the ones that you need to maintain good posture throughout the day. The more planks you do, the easier it’ll be to stand and sit up straighter.
7. Planks help to relieve tension
Holding the plank in proper position forces you to open up your shoulder and upper back muscles - the area where most of us keep that bottled up tension. Giving your body the opportunity to stretch those muscles can help to remove some of the tightness from the stressful events of the day. Plus, a good workout can go a long way when it comes to boosting your mood.
8. Planks help you to build better bones
There’s no doubt that planks can make you stronger. And that extra strength goes a long way when it comes to preventing osteoporosis. More than 48 million American adults have low bone mass - however, many people aren’t aware they have the disease until they break something. Doing a few planks can help you to take control of your health.
9. Planks can be done anywhere
One of the best things about planks are that you can do them anywhere. At the gym, in your bedroom, on vacation… you get the idea. Plus, there’s no equipment required - just your bodyweight. Holding a plank for about 60-seconds after doing 20-push ups and 20-squats is a great mini workout that you can do anytime! Aim for three sets.
10. Planks can put you in a meditative state
Once you’re an experienced planker, you’ll be able to hold the position in a zen-like state. Practicing some breathing exercises while planking is an active way for you to meditate. You’re working out your body - and your mind! Of course, you need to get to the point where you’re not just thinking about how much it hurts, first.