What Is Planking?
Planking is an exercise fad that had quickly became a huge hit. Also known as the Lying Down Game, it is an activity consisting of lying face down—sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location. Both hands must touch the sides of the body. Some players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to play. The term “planking” refers to mimicking a wooden plank. It is a great exercise to condition your core and build resistance in the abdominal area. It does not require any additional equipment and can be done everywhere.
What It Does To Your Body?
Planking can be considered as one of the best exercise for stomach, abdomen and back. It can shore up your core and builds isometric strength to help sculpt your waistline and improve your posture. And depending on the type of plank you try, you can also engage your back, arms, shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings.
The Importance of Core Strength
Abdominal muscles must provide support for our entire back and spinal column. In doing so, they also play a vital role in preventing injuries. However, for them to perform this function successfully, our core muscles have to be strong and trained on a regular basis. What all this means is that doing plank exercises every day is a great way to strengthen your core, and in doing so, support your spine.
The Major Benefits of Planking
- Toned belly – Planking will help build your deep inner core muscles that lay the groundwork for that six-pack look. As your abdominal muscles become stronger, your mid-section will tighten.
- Reduce back pain – Planks work for back pain because they strengthen your core, which has the pleasant “side effect” of reducing back pain. They also strengthen your back muscles, especially those in your upper back.
- Flexibility – While building strength, planks also increase flexibility in your posterior muscle groups. The muscles around your shoulders, collarbone, and shoulder blades will expand and stretch (an area that often receives little attention), as will your hamstrings and even the arches of your feet and your toes.
- Improve balance and posture – To do a plank correctly, you must engage your abs to stay upright. Side planks or planks with extensions are particularly beneficial for building balance, as are planks performed on a stability ball.
How To Hold A Plank Position
- Get into push up position on the floor.
- Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
- Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
- Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
- Hold the position for as long as you can.
- Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
- When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
Do Not Commit These Plank Mistakes:
- Allowing your hips, head, or shoulders to drop
- Placing your hands too close together, which creates internal rotation and instability at your shoulder joint
- Holding your breath
- Trying to hold the position too long – it is better to maintain proper form for a shorter period of time than to hold improper form for longer.
Be Cautious Doing Planking Exercises If You Have These Risks:
- Prolapse – a condition in which one or more of the pelvic organs comes down or bulges into or out of the vagina, often with the sensation of ‘something coming down below’. The pelvic organs consist of the uterus, bowel and bladder.
- After prolapse surgery
- Pelvic pain conditions
- Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
- Previous childbirth
Have you ever tried planking to help with your weight loss goals? Share us your thoughts and experience. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up to our newsletter for more of weight loss tips weekly