Plank Exercise Benefits

 

Plank Exercise Benefits
Plank Exercise Benefits

The Many Benefits of Plank Exercises

Plank exercises are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises for building core strength. They work multiple muscle groups at once, providing a range of health and fitness benefits with minimal equipment required.

What Muscles Do Planks Work?

Planks primarily work the core muscles including:
  • Rectus abdominis (front abs)
  • Transverse abdominis (deep core muscles)
  • Internal and external obliques (side abs)
  • Erector spinae (lower back)
They also engage the shoulders, arms, glutes, and legs to some degree by stabilizing the body. 
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Top 10 Benefits of Planks

Here are 10 key benefits of incorporating planks into your exercise routine:
  1. Strengthen Core Muscles: Planks build endurance and stability through the entire core region from shoulders to hips. This improves posture and athletic performance while reducing risk of injury. 
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  2. Full-Body Toning: Holding a plank position engages muscles throughout the body including arms, legs, butt, and abs for all-around toning. 
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  3. Improve Flexibility: Getting into plank position stretches tight muscles like hamstrings while contracting others. This combination enhances overall flexibility. 
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  4. Enhance Metabolism: Building muscle and challenging your core with planks boosts your metabolic rate so you burn more calories. 
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  5. Relieve Back Pain: Strengthening core muscles protects the spine, reduces pressure on discs and nerves, and alleviates back pain over time. 
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  6. Better Balance and Stability: Activating deep stabilizer muscles leads to greater balance and stability, preventing falls or injuries. This helps with daily activities and sports performance. 
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  7. Improve Posture: Counteracting poor posture, planks strengthen muscles responsible for keeping the back straight and shoulders back. This reduces hunching and slouching. 
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  8. Increase Bone Density: The tension and muscle contractions created through planks may stimulate bone growth leading to higher bone density. 
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  9. Boost Confidence: As planks build core strength, you'll notice improvements in appearance and abilities which boosts confidence and self-esteem. 
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  10. Portable & Equipment-free: Planks can be done anywhere without any equipment, making them easy to incorporate into any workout routine or while traveling. 
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Plank Variations

While traditional planks are highly effective, trying different variations keeps things interesting while targeting different muscle groups:
  • Side Planks: Work obliques and further challenge your stability.
  • Single-Leg Planks: Intensify a regular plank by raising one leg.
  • Plank Jacks: Add a cardio element by opening and closing your legs.
  • Plank Ups: Build strength by raising into a high plank then lowering back down.

Plank Challenge

A fun way to improve plank ability is attempting a plank challenge. This involves holding a plank position for as long as possible each day, trying to increase duration daily or weekly. Popular options are the:
  • 30-day plank challenge
  • 100-second plank challenge
  • 5-minute plank challenge

Conclusion

Incorporating planks into your fitness regimen provides a wide range of whole-body benefits while being simple, equipment-free, and convenient. Work towards holding a plank for at least 30 seconds to a minute per set, and supplement with creative plank variations for endless ab and core sculpting.

References

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 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/plank-exercise-benefits
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 https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/plank-exercise-benefits
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 https://www.shape.com/what-muscles-do-planks-8350322
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 https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/plank-exercise-benefits
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 https://parade.com/1333066/kaitlin-vogel/benefits-of-planks/
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 https://www.livestrong.com/article/13727084-plank-exercise-every-day-effects/
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 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/straight-talk-on-planking-2019111318304
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 https://www.goodrx.com/well-being/movement-exercise/plank-benefits
9
 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/plank-exercise-benefits
10
 https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/plank-exercise-benefits

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