Planking is one of the exercises that many people love to hate. Because let’s face it… it’s flipping hard! But is all that difficulty worth in the end?
The plank, also called a front hold or abdominal bridge is a core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.
If you’ve never tried to plank then don’t be fooled. It looks super easy, however, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, core and back. In fact, it’s normal for Fitness beginners to start with a ten-second plank and work up from that. Here are some greats tips if you’re just starting out.
Want to learn how to plank properly? Book in for a trial class, and let us help you get balanced.
5 Health Benefits of Doing Planks
Planking is a simple but challenge exercise that you will likely experience at some stage or another when you step inside a martial arts fitness class. It’s an awesome exercise for building core strength, mastering balance and tightening those problem areas.
- A Toned Belly: Planking tones your belly by building your deep inner core muscles aka that much coveted six pack! By planking every day, both men and women can tone up their tummy and achieve noticeable muscle tone. Remember that these will only show when you shed fat but hey… Martial Art Fit can do that too!
- Improved Flexibility: One of the big benefits of planking is improved flexibility around your shoulders, collarbone and shoulder blades. It will also stretch out your hamstrings, foot arches and toes so it can be usedas a good warm up and cool down exercise. Side planks are tougher but they also stretch out your sides making them a great follow up to a challenging workout.
- Back Pain Resolution: Planking is great for back pain because it strengthens your back muscles, especially in the upper back. It’s important though to get the right posture to achieve this. One of the common mistakes you see newbies make when they tackle this exercise for the first time is poor planking posture. This may involve your head being down, forgetting to breathe properly, your back arched up or your elbows too spaced out. Check out this article on how to achieve the perfect plank position.
- Tightened Pelvic Floor: More women than men might be familiar with this term, especially those who have given birth. Planking, when combined with a kegel squeeze, can improve bladder control and is achieved by drawing your lower pelvic muscles up and holding them up high and tight. Repeating this every day will strengthen your pelvic floor.
- Improved Balance: Planking really does improve your balance and general core strength which has a huge impact on the other areas of your training. Learning to plank in the correct position with minimum movement trains your body to achieve better body balance and will improve your ability to stay solid under the barbell when you’re squatting and help you to string more repetitions of your gymnastics movements together too.
Nobody can plank perfectly first time and you know what? That’s totally ok. If you want to learn how to plank and improve your physique then Crossfit Soul Rebel has a free trial class ready and waiting for you. Book your trial class, and let’s get you planking right!