6 Health & Beauty Benefits That Will Make You Want To Plank Every Day
Learn how a simple plank can change your body completely
"I work a lot on my core, be it planks, or other forms of core strengthening yoga poses. I don't do it for abs, but a strong healthy core that holds so much more holistic importance than just physical appearance. It's a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.
Especially the digital world we live in, irregular postures have been a huge concern leading to lower back problems, more fatigue, less endurance and injuries. I have felt a difference myself when I do core exercises. They relieve my back pain almost instantly and fill me up with energy." - Shritama Mukherjee, founder of The Green Maven
With life returning to those pre-pandemic days, it's time to dust off our exercising gear and get back to our fitness routine. But instead of directly starting with HIIT, it's best to begin slowly. Plus, given that most of us are starting to work from the office, it's going to take a while to adjust and manage our time effectively. This is why we think planks are the best exercise to help you get back to your fitness routine.
Like many exercises, this one is not only for those who want to manage their weight. It has plenty of health and beauty benefits as well. But don't be fooled by how easy it looks. In fact, even a minute can seem like an hour but planks work wonders for your core muscles.
The benefits of doing planks daily are endless. Keep on reading to find out what they are and the best way to do a plank.
What happens when you do planks?
If you want an exercise that engages all the muscles in the body then this is it! Staying in a plank position engages muscles right from your neck, and shoulder and goes all the way back down to your pelvis, thighs, and legs.
- Rectus abdominis:
Wondering which muscle is responsible for that enviable 6 pack? This is it! The Rectus abdominis is a long strap muscle that not only gives you enviable abs but also improves high jumps and kicks. Planks help flex the spinal column, narrowing the space between the pelvis and the ribs.
- Transverse abdominis:
These abdominal wall muscles are located directly behind your Rectus Abdominis a.k.a Abs and help in stabilising the lumbar spine and pelvis to improve the movement of limbs. If you want to develop your rectus abdominis, you need to first train to build this muscle. According to research, strengthening these muscles with planks can also help alleviate chronic low back pain.
- Oblique Muscles:
This consists of two muscles: The external and internal obliques. These muscles help improve your range of motion, enabling you to bend sideways and twist your waist.
- Gluteal Muscles or Glutes:
These muscles are connected to the tailbone and help support your back. It is also responsible for giving you the desired backside.
Health & Beauty Benefits of Doing Planks
1. Build Core Strength
Since you have to use stomach muscles, planks are great for strengthening your core from the front to back. Reverse planks engage transverse abdominous, the rectus abdominus, the external obliques, and the glutes, to increase your core strength.'
2. Improves Flexibility
Flexibility is more than just contouring your body in a certain way. It also involves performing resistance exercises such as planks. Yes, planks help build flexibility which is why they are also very common in yoga. How does it work? Well, since they engage your entire body, planks help expand and stretch all the muscles of your back as well as your legs. This in turn improves and even increases your body's flexibility.
3. Improves Metabolism
Sitting at home for 2 years and now sitting in the office the entire day can lower our metabolic rate. Along with a good diet plan, doing planks daily can help improve circulation, thus improving body metabolism. This is ‘coz the stronger your muscles grow, the more food you will intake. With regular exercise like planks and a healthy diet, your metabolic rate will increase and you will burn more calories.
4. Better Bone health
Since planks increase blood circulation, it helps the joints move smoothly against one another. It also helps create new bone tissues which give you healthier, stronger bones, good coordination, and even better balance.
5. Boosts Your Mood
Exercise doesn't only improve your physical strength but mental health as well. Getting accustomed to the pre-pandemic way of life can be a bit stressful for some and planks are the most effective way to ease your state of mind. This in turn will boost your mood. This form of exercise targets a group of muscles that commonly causes stress, thus eliminating worry in the process.
6. Strengthens Your Back
Want to strengthen your back? This exercise will help! Planks help align your vertebrae, which are the interlocking bones that form the spinal column. Sitting in uncomfortable positions or at a desk, all day can cause a lot of damage to the spine resulting in neck and back pain.
Daily planks strengthen your spine and abdominal muscles, removing unnecessary stress from the back. This position is great as it arranges the ligaments in the back, improves your posture and prevents painful back issues in the future.
How to do a plank?
While it may look easy, it's vital to get this position right to avoid any negative impact on your muscles. To do a traditional high plank, start by putting yourself in a pushup position and hold. Ensure your body is lifted off the ground or you can bend your elbows and rest on your forearms.
What to keep in mind for the perfect form:
- Elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders.
- Slightly tilt your pelvis forward to engage the glutes
- Pull in your belly button and hold in your belly muscles.
- Back and butt are straight, not sagging or sticking up in the air.
How often should you do planks?
Since 1 to 5 mins are enough for beginners, you can do this exercise every day. If you are suffering from a certain illness you can do it every alternate day.
If you are looking for simple exercises to include in your post-pandemic routine, then planks should absolutely be one of them. This exercise is not only easy to perform anywhere but with so many benefits to your entire body, it will definitely add a positive impact on your life.