Admittedly, it was not love at first sight with planks. When I began getting into shape, planks were among the hardest exercise movement to do. Planks don’t mince words…they let you know right away how out of shape you are. They are like the teacher you had in college who you thought hated you, only to find out later it was the best teacher you ever had because they saw your potential and pushed you to do your best. So even though you may be hesitant, I am going to give you 4 reasons to love planks today.
4 Reasons to Love Planks: Core Strength
Planks will strengthen your core muscles which consist of the abdominal muscles, including the obliques (side abdominal muscles), back (the deep back muscles that support your spine) and pelvis muscles (including the glutes). As we age, our spine can really take a beating causing certain injuries such as disc bulging that prevents even the most simple day to day activities we want to enjoy. When we work on core strength, the very small muscles next to the spine and discs are strengthened for stronger foundational support in our everyday activities. Having a strong core will improve balance, posture and tighten your stomach and hips for a slimmer you!
4 Reasons to Love Planks: Ability to Vary Degree of Difficulty
Planks have large variations of movements to keep our muscles guessing and working! There are standard planks that are challenging enough if you are early in your journey of getting fit. Later, you can add more challenging planks such as lifting a leg and the opposite arm at the same time to create more need of balance and core strength.
4 Reasons to Love Planks: No Gym Needed
I really love that planks can be done anywhere there is enough space for you to lie down! Even if you are traveling, this can be done in your hotel room. No equipment is needed.
4 Reasons to Love Planks: 5-10 Min is All You Need
This is an exercise that really doesn’t require a lot of time commitment. In 5-10 min your core muscles will be exhausted from the plank variations. Each set should last about 30 seconds to a minute. If you do all of the exercises needed to work the same amount of muscles a plank workout will do, it would likely take 30-45 min of time. This is the express lane core workout method. The planks can be in your routine 2-3 times per week and if done consistently with a good diet, within a few weeks you should be able to see and feel a difference.
Core strength is foundational to many things we want to do comfortably. The American College of Sports Medicine studied a group of 14 individuals under the age of 65 yrs of age and concluded:
“When completing the core strength guidelines, a routine that incorporates the activation of distal trunk musculature would be optimal in terms of maximizing strength, improving stability, reducing injury, and maintaining mobility.”
Now that you have 4 reasons to love planks, incorporate some into your routine everyday so…