My husband asked me yesterday if I have ever done a plank? Many, many times I have so I said “yes”. To which he replied ” That is really frigg’in hard”. There really is no question, it is hard. But, the good news is, if you are new to doing a plank, you understand that there are variations you can do. Typically, a plank is done in a prone (lying on your tummy) position, lifting yourself up onto your forearms and your toes so your body is in an almost push-up position. Sounds simple enough, right. If you are new to doing exercise, I recommend bending your knees and holding that modified position until you build up some core strength. The reason I wanted to talk about the plank specifically today was because I think it’s one of the best core exercises you can do. Form is really important for doing a plank correctly so do not drop your tummy or your head. The alignment of your body needs to be in a straight line. If you feel that you can’t do it from your toes, no problem, drop to your knees and hold that position for as long as possible. Start with 10 seconds and work your way up to 1 minute or longer if you can. The picture shows what muscles are used during a plank, I hope that helps you to understand a bit better.
There are several benefits to doing a plank:
- Reduce back pain – if you have a strong core it will help to alleviate back pain as these muscles all work together to make the body strong.
- Tones the tummy – as a girl..hello… this is really important to me. You will be holding the tummy in while you are in plank.
- Makes you more flexible – by building the core muscles along with shoulder and legs, the muscles will stretch allowing better flexibility.
- Posture – you will start to stand up straighter because you have a strong core area. The body all works together to help you be stronger.