Planking is one of the best exercises you can do to develop a strong core and get a six pack. When planking, in addition to abdominal muscles, your biceps, neck and shoulder muscles are put to the test on resistance and strength.
Have you ever held a plank for a minute and felt your body trembling? That’s the whole upper body getting toned! But not only that, planking also helps develop your butt and thighs, and provided we still can’t leave the house because of the Coronavirus, planking every day is a great way to stay toned and strong at home with practically no equipment as you can use a yoga mat or a towel to plank.
And while planking has many benefits, there are 4 not so known benefits it has when done daily:
Reduces back pain
As the abdominal muscles become stronger, the body reduces the overuse and tension we usually give to the back muscles as a compensation mechanism of a weak abdomen.
Improves overall balance
When your abdominal muscles are not so strong, your balance can be compromised. Try standing on one leg before you start a daily planking routine and try again one month after: you’ll realize your balance has improved as your core gets stronger. And with an improved balance, you’ll realize your performance in other sports will also be improved.
Weird, right? How can holding planks relieve stress? As strangely as it may seem, planking is a physical activity and as such, releases endorphins into the body when holding the pose. In addition, focusing on holding the pose for a certain amount of time increases your concentration and awareness of your mind and body, thus relieving stress while focusing on the moment.
As muscle mass is developed, your metabolism can get a kick and become faster. When muscle mass is increased, your resting metabolic heart rate is improved and as a result, you develop a greater calorie burn rate.
As you can see, planking has many benefits that extend beyond the physical side of your body. And an added beauty of this exercise is that you can adjust its complexity as you get stronger: you can start with a basic 10 – 20 second plank until you can reach a minute holding the pose, then you can add into the mix raising a leg and arm during the plank at 20 second intervals, doing side planks and even using sliders to open and closing your legs while holding the pose.