The Benefits of Planking
Huh... what is a plank?
Planking is considered one of the best exercises for core strengthening, and, as we all know, a strong core is essential for everything we do. One of the joys of planking is that it can be done anywhere, anytime and needs no equipment. Professor Stuart McGill, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, insists that you only need to hold the planking position for 10 seconds to see and feel the results. Others, such as Benji Tiger, insist that the optimal time is between 20 and 30 seconds. The world record is over 5 hours.
Abdominal Muscles and your Back
Planking is one exercise which strengthens the abdominals while being gentle on the spine. As your muscles get stronger, so the support for your back improves, especially in the upper area.
Performance and Definition
Planking works all your core muscles: -
- Transverse Abs – great for weights
- Rectus Abs – needed for sports performance and that admired six pack
- Obliques – necessary for sideways and waist twisting movements
- Glutes – strong glutes help to maintain a strong back
Regular planking helps to improve posture. Good posture reflects the fact that the muscles around the spine are properly balanced and therefore offering the body full, balanced support. Good posture also ensures your bones are aligned which lessens any strain on your joints and bones. It also helps your internal organs, especially the gut.
Planking on a regular basis will improve your flexibility. It not only works your posterior muscle groups, it also stretches every muscle and tendon in your legs, from your hips down to your toes.
Our bodies release happy hormones (endorphins) whenever we undertake moderate exercise. Planking is no exception. Not only that but it also relieves stress in areas such as your shoulders, neck, back and legs.
Planking is a full body and mind workout.