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Why you NEED to start planking

Why are planks an effective workout?

Planking is an incredible full body exercise, which means that it targets the muscles in you upper body, core, lower back and lower body. It also helps stabilize your spine in neutral alignment and can assist in stabilizing the pelvis. This is one of the reasons physiotherapists like planking so much!


Our physiotherapists often recommend patients to incorporate some variation of the plank into their workout regime.

During a plank, the majority of muscle engagement resides in your core muscles. There are four main muscles in your core that are activate during a plank; transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal obliques and external obliques. Addtionally, planking exercises also activate the muscles in the hips, back, and shoulders. Having a solid core can help reduce back pain, improve balance and optimize your athletic performance.

Why should you workout your core?

Your core muscles play a vital role in your overall fitness and health. Working your core helps keep your spine healthy, improves your balance and coordination, and can help reduce the risk of injuries. Plus, a strong core looks great!

Do planks help target belly fat?

If you are looking to specifically target belly fat, planks are a great exercise to include in your routine. They engage multiple muscle groups, including the abdominals, and can help boost your metabolic rate. To maximize the benefits of planking, be sure to do them regularly and include other compound exercises in your routine as well.

Do planks improves stability?

A strong and stable core is important for everyday movements like bending over to pick something up. Athletes rely on a stable core to perform movements like swinging a baseball bat or hitting a golf ball down the green. Planks can help tone the core, improve your stability and balance, and provide other benefits.

 

The best type of planks for a solid core

The forearm plank is probably the most common plank workout.

Instructions: While lying on the floor, with your forearms underneath your shoulders, lift your torso into a straight line. Ensure that your legs are straight, your toes are firmly on the ground and your neck and spine are in a neutral position. Hold for as long as you can, then repeat the process 3 times.

For individuals looking for a more advanced version of the plank above, with elevate levels of muscle engagement, we recommend moving your forearms up. This way, instead of being underneath your shoulders they will be closer to your head. We promise this will be very difficult as it engages more muscles.

Another variation of the plank is effective at building your core is a plank with shoulder taps. While assuming the plank position, lift your left forearm up and touch your right shoulder with that hand before bringing it back down. Repeat with the other hand/shoulder. Your body will be working extra hard to try to regain balance and compensate.

For more variations check out physio pedia

Planking Tips from a Physiotherapist

  • To prevent back strain or injury, engage your core during the entire movement.
  • Ensure your body forms a straight line from your head to heals.
  • Keep your back flat and bum down
  • Focus on the quality of the plank rather than how long you can hold it.

Planking is a great way to strengthen your core and improve your posture. It’s also easy to do at home with no equipment required, making it a perfect exercise to add to your routine. Planking is a simple but challenging exercise that can help you see real results in just a few weeks! We hope this article was informative.