Get Fit - Planks To Work Your Core

  • When it comes to core workouts, nothing beats the plank for effectiveness and time. This exercise move challenges the entire body and burns more calories than the crunch. It’s easier on the back and helps prevent injuries. I strongly suggest that you add planks to your workout every day.
  • Why are planks so great? Here‘s why:
    • Planks provide core definition. Planks engage the transverse abdominal pressure so you can lift more weight and helps flatten out the stomach; the rectus abdominals improves performance in spoors that require jumping and gives you the six pack look; oblique’s are used for side bending and waist twisting moves; and gluts support the back and given you a strong and shapely backside.
    • A strong core mean the body has an increased ability to perform a range of movements which includes sports and daily activities without pain lowers risk of injury. It is a safe way to build muscle and spine and hips during movement.
    • It’s a great workout anywhere even in a confined space. Just doing planks can give you great workout. It’s also a quick metabolism booster and calorie burner.
    • Planks improve posture because a strong core ensures an upright body. The muscles in the core support the spine and this makes you stand taller and less likely to hunch over. 
    • A strong core also increases stability in the entire body. Planks are great for balance and coordination. Planks you can consider incorporating into your exercise routing are: Forearm Plank, side Plank, straight Arm Plank, and Reverse Plank. There are a number of variation and its best if you ask your trainer to show you how.
    • When building strength, Planks also increase flexibility in your posterior muscle groups – the muscles around your shoulders, collarbone, shoulder blades, hamstrings and even the arches of your feet and toes. If you do a side planks, you also stretch out your sides especially if you extend your arm up over your head in line with your body.
    • Just something to remember- Planks alone will not do the trick. Whether you do crunches, v-sits, roll backs or planks, more abs work will NOT flatten your abs. A learn look is best achieved with a combination of healthy eating and a balance of cardio and resistance training. But Planks are a great exercise to ensure that your abs are strong and supporting your back during your workouts and in everyday life. The tension release is also great as it stretches and relaxes the muscles. It is also known to reduce back pain.
    • Here’s how to do a plank: Start by getting into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as though you are about to be punched in your stomach. This is a stander plank. Hold for 30 seconds or as long as you can, a little beyond your comfort level. Release. 
   Avoid these common mistakes while doing a plank
    • Allowing your hips, head or shoulders to drop
    • Placing your hands too close together which creates internal rotation and instability in the shoulder joints
    • Holding the position for too long. It is better proper form for better to maintain proper form for a shorter period of time.
    • Holding the breath
(THT- Sandesh - The author is a certified professional fitness instructor)

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