Today, everybody is very busy. So much so that one does not have the time to even spend 15 minutes on a workout. Busy schedule is one of the main things that are keeping one away from being fit. Everyone wishes to be fit and wants to reduce their belly fat, increase stamina and strength, but at the same time we need to focus on our posture, body balance and most importantly core muscles.
In such a scenario we need to think about work outs which are less time consuming yet very effective. You must be wondering, are there any such workouts which can be performed anytime, anywhere, consumes less time, requires no equipment and are effective too? The answer is YES! One of the best exercises which will focus on posture, body balance and core is “PLANK”.
The plank exercise helps strengthen mid-section, upper-body and lower-body muscles along with the front of your body. Planks also strengthen inner core muscles that support your joints. At a time, it works on all your core muscles.
Last year, I was super excited to participate in my first ever 100km Oxfam Trailwalk, I started practicing regularly and then, I realized that I was going through severe back problems. The result of the back pain led to my doctor forbidding me to participate in the Trailwalker and I missed that event. I kept myself strong then and promised that next year I will surely participate in the trailwalker with my strong back bone. I started doing back strengthening exercises, worked on my diet and after some time I added Plank to my workouts. This workout has helped me to reduce my back pain, improve my posture, balance, and overall fitness.
I am all set this year to complete the 100km Oxfam trail walk with my strong back and core. I am so excited about this event and the big improvement in my performance which I experienced had made me write a blog on PLANK and share it with you all.
Now let me tell you how to hold the Plank
Lie face down with forearms on the floor and hands clasped. Extend the legs behind the body and rise up on the toes. Keeping the back straight, tighten the core and hold the position for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can hang).
There are different variations in Plank example- Side plank, Dynamic Prone Plank since, it will be a different version of normal Plank so little difficult to perform.
Side Plank– Roll to the side and comes up on one foot and elbow. Make sure the hips are lifted and the core is engaged, and hang tight for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can stomach!).
Reverse Plank– start out by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your palms on the floor, below your shoulders, squeeze your buttocks and thighs, and then push your body up into a reverse plank position. Alternatively, you can begin by placing your Elbows rather than your hands on the floor, for a less dramatic lift. Again, keep your body in a straight diagonal line from shoulders to heels, making sure your hips are in line.
Dynamic Prone Plank: Starting with a standard plank position, raise the hips as high as they can go then lower them back down. Continue this movement for as long as possible. Make sure the Back stays straight and the hips don’t droop.
Plank-to-Push-Up: Starting in a plank position, place down one hand at a time to lift up into a Push-up position, with the back straight and the core engaged. Then move one arm at a time back into the plank position (forearms on the ground). Repeat alternating the arm that makes the first move.
Jumping Jack planks: There are planks, and then there are planks with pop! Start in a traditional plank (shoulders over the wrists and the body in one straight line), but, keep the feet together. Then, simply do jumping jacks with the legs, moving them out to the sides, then back together. Aim for 12-15 hops (out and in is one!).
Just by holding it for 30secs daily can make our core stronger and help you to lose the fat!!
One word of caution is being careful when performing planks and overdoing it could lead to injury. This is important if you have back pain or injury. If you’re trying it for the first time, get it into it slowly and gradually so that you can hold the plank for longer duration which can be increased with practice. Make a note to avoid these mistakes:
Other points to remember
- Keep breathing while doing the Plank, don’t hold the breath.
- Don’t make your hips, head, or shoulders to drop.
- Don’t place your hands very close, it can create internal rotation and instability in your shoulder joint.
- Try to hold the Plank in proper position, though for short duration rather than holding in wrong Position for long time.
So what do you think? Planks can be effective. So how about adding this plank workout in our daily activity regime?