Most people today are aware that exercise is one of the best ways you can maintain a stable weight and a toned body.
By activating your metabolism you increase the number of calories you burn, firming parts of your body and hopefully highlighting some of your best physical attributes.
In spite of this, however, there aren’t that many people who exercise regularly in order to achieve these benefits.
Lack of time, being tired after work, or difficulty in joining a gym are some of the excuses that people make to avoid exercise.
With all those obstacles in mind, today we want to share the benefits of a simple exercise that you can do at home.
It’s known as the “plank,” and it’s designed to work most of the muscle groups in your body.
All you need is a yoga mat and of course, a little willpower.
What are the benefits of doing the plank?
The plank exercise has countless benefits for your body if you just set aside a few minutes a day to practice it.
It isn’t an easy exercise to perform, however, because it requires a lot of physical strength and concentration.
The main benefits include:
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1. Increased muscle definition
The plank works several muscle groups, including the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, the obliques, and the glutes.
This is an important fact to remember when you think of how each group has its own purpose and benefits to the body.
- The transverse abdominis: Increases abdominal pressure to lift more weight and flatten the belly.
- The rectus abdominis: Improves performance in sports that require jumping.
- The obliques: These are responsible for lateral bends and twisting at the waist.
- The glutes: These muscles support your lower back, and the stronger they are the more attractive they look.
2. It prevents injuriesIn order for your body to be able to perform a variety of movements, it’s important to strengthen your muscles and joints.
The plank is an effective way to build more muscle mass and decrease pain after sports or demanding physical activities.
3. You can do it anywhere
All you need is a little floor space that’s equal to the length of your body in order to carry out this exercise.
This makes it a very accessible exercise routine when you’re traveling, for example, or if you live in a very small apartment.
4. It improves posture
Having strong muscles and joints also improves your posture. Once you master this exercise you’ll stand up straighter and look taller.
The plank strengthens the muscles that support your spine and helps correct bad posture.
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5. It improves your balanceOne of the most important aspects of the plank is that it requires a lot of concentration, balance, and coordination.
When you’re just beginning to develop those muscle groups it can be difficult to find your balance. But with constant practice you’ll notice a gradual improvement.
How to do the plank correctly
To do the plank the right way, remember the following tips:
- Feet: These are one of the support points for your body, so they must remain fixed.
- Legs: They should be straight and together. Otherwise you reduce the pressure on your abdominal muscles.
- Glutes: This muscle group should be tight and not relax until the end of the exercise.
- Lower back: You need to be careful with your lower back and keep it perfectly straight. Poor posture can result in an injury.
- Abdomen: Your abdomen should remain contracted; you’ll feel the pressure.
- Elbows: These will be placed directly below your shoulders, forming a straight line.
Tips for beginners
In order to benefit from this exercise you must maintain the same position for at least a few seconds, up to a few minutes.
In the beginning it’s best that you start with 10 to 15 seconds of the plank.
After you have a little practice you can work your way up to two minutes per set with five repetitions.
Be careful! If you’re not used to it, don’t try to push yourself harder than you should.
The plank will help you build your strength gradually, avoiding any pain or physical discomfort.