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Planks: Right Form, Benefits, and the Muscles They Work

Planks works on your core & provides flexibility. (Image by Nathan Cowley / Pexels)
Planks works on your core & provides flexibility. (Image by Nathan Cowley / Pexels)
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Soniya Y

Some exercises are so simple and yet so effective, such as - planks. You won't need any fancy equipment or tools to do the basic plank. While there are many plank variations that entail movement, the classic plank exercise requires you to just get into the plank position and hold it.

Planks are a great way of improving core strength and stability.

What is a plank?

This core exercise is done while lying prone on the floor with your elbows, wrists and toes resting on the floor. A plank position resembles the start of a pushup, but your arms are simply utilized for support and there is no bending of the arms involved.

The purpose of a plank is usually to keep the posture for as long as possible.

When you perform this on a regular basis, your muscles strengthen and you can hold the plank posture for longer periods of time.

How to Do Planks

A few well-executed planks will yield better results than several of the shoddy ones. It will also prevent you from experiencing any unwanted pain, strain, or injury.

The classic forearm plank is demonstrated in this video:

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• Lie down on your stomach, elbows and forearms by your sides. Shoulders and elbows in line.

• By pressing through your forearms and toes, slowly elevate your upper body off the floor. As you rise, squeeze in your core and maintain a neutral spine and neck. Maintain a tucked-in pelvis.

• Hold this position for 30 secs.

• Repeat 3 or more times.

Planks Work on More than one Muscle

• Abdomen muscles

It works the upper layer of your abdomen muscles. These are the muscles that give you the "six pack."

• Obliques

Your internal and external obliques will also be burned while doing planks. These are the muscles that travel from your hips to your ribcage on either side of your abs. This is beneficial for upper-body flexibility as well as hip and back stability.

• Anterior serratus

Planks will not allow you to relax your shoulder stabilizing muscles.

• Glutes

Your hips are also strengthened and stabilized by strong glutes, which improves your posture and balance.

Planks train a variety of muscles, including hamstrings, quadriceps, deltoids, pecs, biceps, triceps, and a large number of back muscles.

Benefits of Doing Planks

• Strengthens your core

Your body is stabilized by your core. It's at the heart of many of your daily actions. Your core will keep you safe whether you're picking up groceries or playing pickleball.

Planking is particularly beneficial for strengthening the core and increasing muscular endurance.

• Reduces lower back pain

Planks may be beneficial if you have back or neck problems. (pro tip: Always consult your doctor beforehand.) You can improve your spine stability and relieve tension by strengthening your core.

Strong abs support your lumbar spine (lower back), improving back stability and pelvic movement.

• Less chance of injury

Core muscles help to support your body and protect your spine from excessive stress. So, whether you're playing any sport or attempting to lift heavy object, planking every now and then may help you avoid pain, strain, or injury in the future.

Other core exercises like sit-ups and crunches are harder on your back, neck, and spine than planks.

• Improves your Flexibility

Planks are a terrific way to stretch out the lower half of your body, even if it doesn't feel like it.

The plank pose is a dual strength and stretch workout since getting into the hold position lengthens your hamstrings as well as the arches of your feet.

• Easy to modify

While the standard plank is a solid go-to exercise, it can also be tweaked and expanded to meet your specific needs.

One alteration you can make is to drop to your forearms in the plank position.

Another technique to get the most out of the exercise is to hold the stance for longer periods of time. Begin with a 15 to 30-second hold and slowly increase your time.

Side plank is also a great variation that can be incorporated into your daily workout routine.


Takeaway

Plank is a simple workout that doesn't require any movement, yet it's difficult to master. Planks help you grow by allowing you to hold the position for extended periods of time.

Planks strengthen your core, which helps you execute other exercises better, improves your posture, and prepares you for a higher level of overall fitness.

As with any exercise, it's critical to practice planks correctly in order to avoid injury and gain the most benefit.

There are various changes you can try if you can't complete a plank. With these guidelines, you'll be doing this exercise like a pro!


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Q. Ready to do planks?

Yes! Let's do it

Nah, I hate planks

38 votes so far

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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