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Want to improve you health overall but don’t want to give it much? Crunches and Sit-ups have broken your back? Or Wanna lose that jiggle around your stomach, build a stronger core? Planks is the new fad explored to limits by the fitness fanatics. It’s not just a blind fad though, Planks do target all your abs, arms, shoulders, and legs as well. Not that planks alone will give you the toned muscles and ripped abs, but will definitely take you closer to it. All you have to do is do it regularly and in the correct posture.
1.What are Planks and how do I do it?
Planking is lying down in a press up position while having a smooth upward slope from toes to shoulders. But how exactly do you make sure to get it right? We’ve got your back, here’s how you plank:
- Start by getting into a press up position
- Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms and not on your hands
- Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles
- Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine
- Hold this position for the prescribed time
There is no reason for you to rush if you don’t have the core strength yet, you can build it up by doing a bent-knee plank, you can also do it with extended arms if your elbows can’t take it. Move on to tougher variations as you see progress.
You can work on slowly increasing your plank time with these simple moves:
- Weight lifting
- Squats and deadlifts
Planks work out every muscle in your body, from abs, shoulders to glutes and hamstrings. When done right, it supports building a good & healthy posture, builds the core, helps focus, and improves balance. Core training is the most basic and important activity of any workout or training session. And the best part about planking is you can do it anytime, anywhere.
3.The ifs and buts…
In spite of its extreme simplicity and easy to adapt and perform nature, a few gym junkies may be skeptical about planking for obvious reasons. There are better moves out there to train your abs like leg raises, crunches, etc. and you could use the advanced gym equipment for more efficiency. The reason for this resentment is: to activate muscle growth you need to work yourself to near fatigue, and it takes about 1-2 mins. Since planking takes longer, it doesn’t add as a muscle building exercise to most.
4.So how effective is planking for you?
Planking has its own pros and cons. Yes, arguably planking is the most popular abs exercise, but also most overused and exploited. The downside is you will stall progress only when you switch to the intermediate levels and make it tougher for yourself. You must bring in variations. Planks, when combined with a balanced diet and a regular training, planking will shape your body and build strength, your abs will become stronger and will help you build a foundation for those sweet abs. But…Remember that abs are made in the kitchen. So eat right, train tight!