If you have a love/hate relationship with planks that falls more on the hate side, well, you are totally normal. But you know it’s good, so you do it, right? Right?
Ok good! Because even if you hate the plank pose, your body loves it. There are many benefits to practicing this pose regularly, so get to it!
Plank poses don’t just strengthens your abs, but all major muscles groups of your stomach. To engage all muscles, even the transverse muscles, make sure your hips are in line with your ankles and shoulders and lift your belly button up towards your spine.
Plank pose strengthens the spinal extensors, muscles that run the length of your spine which help your spine to be in proper alignment. And because this pose strengthens your abdominal muscles, you’ll be able to rely more on these muscles when doing everyday movements which helps with back pain!
When you practice plank pose, you probably mostly feel your core burning and shaking, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only thing working! Your hands, wrists and forearms muscles and tendons also gain tremendous flexibility and strength. From now, you’ll be the friend people ask to open pickle jars.
Strong abs, back, chest, shoulders and neck are necessary to have a good posture. And guess what? They are all super engaged in plank pose! As you practice it, your muscles will gain strength and your body will adjust to give you that perfect posture.
Any physical activity has the power of boosting your mood and planks definitely do. After exercising, your body releases a neurochemical substance called endorphins which bring a feeling of happiness. Plus, the plank strengthens AND stretches muscles that are often stiff from sitting. You’ll likely experience a nice relief from practicing it often.
In a plank, you must engage many muscles in order to stay in balance. This will help you to stay stabilized in an upright position as well. If you want to challenge your balance a little bit more, try side planks or practice regular planks on a stability ball.
Don’t worry if you can’t hold the plank for very long at first. We advise you to stop your plank if your form is starting to suffer. Try on your knees or try again tomorrow. You’ll only get stronger with time!
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