6 Surprising Benefits of Doing Planks

The plank may not appear to be much at first glance. What could be so fantastic about supporting your body without having to move? Holding a plank position, it turns out, provides a lot of advantages. Plank exercises put your entire body to the test, ensuring that you get the most bang for your buck. This bodyweight exercise is particularly good for strengthening the core, which is important for mobility and pain reduction.

But first, take a moment to learn how to do a proper plank. This will ensure that you're engaging the right muscles in the right way and help prevent injury. Once you've mastered the basic move, you can fully enjoy the benefits of the plank, below.  

1. Planks are a Great Way to Strengthen Your Entire Body.

Do you enjoy multitasking moves? Planks work numerous muscles at the same time. According to Candace Rhodes, personal trainer and CEO of Rhodes to Strength, the plank improves your glutes and quadriceps. These muscles assist propel you ahead, which is especially beneficial if you're a runner. Strong glutes and quads help you move easily during exercise and daily tasks by stabilizing the pelvis and knees, respectively.

The plank also works your shoulders, arms, and core, which is your body's major stabilizer. Your spine is in a neutral position when you're doing a plank. This forces the core muscles to engage and stabilize the body, making them stronger in the process.

2. Planks are a Great Way to Enhance Your Posture.

The plank not only strengthens your core, but it also improves your posture. This is especially crucial if you slouch or, like many individuals, spend your days sitting at a computer. The following is how it works: Your core muscles are responsible for maintaining your spine and maintaining your body upright. This includes muscles like the diaphragm, pelvic floor, internal obliques, and abs. Planks keep these muscles healthy and powerful, allowing them to easily brace your spine.

3. Planks Can Assist to Relieve Lower-Back Pain.

The plank has your back whenever it comes to pain, and it's all down to the move's core-strengthening as well as posture-improving effects. The core, as the center of your body, bears the brunt of your motions. If your core is weak, the load is shifted to your surrounding muscles, which overcompensate in a disproportionate way. Back pain, particularly in the lower back, might result from this.

Plank workouts provide a lot of advantages. Researchers discovered that strengthening your core with workouts (like planks) can help to minimize low back discomfort in a 2017 study. Planks can also help you feel better by making you more conscious of your posture and spinal alignment.

4. Planks Can Help You Avoid Being Hurt.

Planks lower your chance of injury by stabilizing your core. A strong core helps transfer force to your extremities during movement, according to the Journal of Athletic Training. A weak core, on the other hand, will not be able to support the weight. According to Dean, this puts too much pressure on surrounding muscles, resulting in "injuries in unexpected places like the hips, hamstrings, or inner thighs."

Planks' posture-related benefits can also be beneficial. Good posture, according to Rhodes, keeps you safe by dispersing your weight appropriately during activities. This prevents you from making awkward, inaccurate movements that could result in harm or pain.

5. Planks Help You Maintain Your Equilibrium.

When you do a plank, you must balance your entire weight on your toes and arms to avoid falling over. This enhances your balance, which is important for maintaining control of your body's position. Whether you're walking to the mailbox or hiking up a mountain, proper balance helps you move in a way that avoids damage. Plus, as we get older, balance concerns become more widespread, so it never hurts to challenge your balance with exercises like planks.

Don't worry if your balance isn't up to par—a plank may be modified in a variety of ways. It'll be easier if you put your knees on the ground, which will provide extra support as you gain strength. Another approach, according to Rhodes, is to lift your upper body by placing your hands on a bed or chair. It pulls the floor closer to you, making it simpler to hold a plank. "The plank is simpler if your torso is upright," she says. Are you looking for a new challenge? Hold a plank for a longer period of time than normal, or lift a leg or arm, according to Rhodes.

6. Planks Can Help You Be More Flexible.

Despite the fact that the plank does not feel like a traditional stretch, it can greatly improve your flexibility. Doing a basic plank, according to Dean, lengthens and extends your hamstrings, which are the key muscles in the rear upper leg that create pain when they become too tight. According to Dean, the exercise also extends the arches and balls of your feet, improving balance and range of motion. The side plank, on the other hand, extends the obliques, making it easier to twist your trunk.

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