Why plank?

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Blog, Fitness & Wellness

The basic plank is one of the most beneficial exercises anyone can do, anywhere, any time. As a full bodyweight exercise, a simple plank activates nearly every muscle in your body. The exercise includes arms, shoulders, pecs, glutes and core.  

Much like a corset around the midsection, a stronger core from back to front has numerous benefits.  Benefits include better functional movements during ordinary daily activities like picking up groceries or walking up the stairs, as well as reduced injury risk. Here are some other benefits to adding the plank to your daily routine.

Good posture

Planks support good posture by working the back muscles and allowing for maximal muscle tension without extra stress on the spine. 

Better Balance

Planks promote better balance. The core is the midline of the body, responsible for all movement and rotation and acts as a connection between the upper body and the lower body. Whether you are an advanced athlete or looking for help holding your body in a standing position for long periods of time, core strength will help maintain that stability.

Plank = Full body exercise

A plank is an excellent full body exercise, and when performing a plank, it is crucial to squeeze the glutes. This helps activate the core and protects the lower back. Strong glutes support the lower back and alleviate any extra stress it could undergo. Strong glutes provide the hips with more stability and pelvic floor strength. Another trigger to back pain could be instability in the spine and strengthening the muscles along the spine and in the core, could reduce the pain. A stronger core means your lower back doesn’t have to work so hard to hold you up.

Promotes muscular endurance

Being able to hold a plank for a longer period of time supports muscle endurance. Muscular endurance is built through the body’s ability to perform exercises for an extended period of time, promoting endurance throughout the entire body.

Better flexibility and mobility

Planks promote flexibility and mobility. Full plank position elongates your legs, especially the hamstrings. It also lengthens the hip flexors, in which most people have a lot of tightness from sitting most of the day. 

Do it anywhere

Finally, there is no equipment required to do a plank, and you don’t need a gym either. A plank is also perfect for beginners and easily modifiable using a chair to elevate the upper body or dropping to the knees and elbows instead of full plank. Because planks are so versatile, that means they can be leveled up to challenge even the biggest fitness buff.   

So next time you’re watching TV, take it to the floor and find out how long you can hold your own bodyweight. Tune into the low back, squeeze your glutes and push away from the floor. Next pull the belly button into the spine and imagine a long, lean line running down your spine from your neck to your tailbone. Practice daily to see improvement over time.