Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that planks are one of the best moves to tone your abs, back and shoulders and build core strength. Here are a few other reasons why you might want to give them a try…
- Prevent injury – unlike crunches which can be brutal on your back, when done correctly, planks engage all your deep core muscles, protecting your back and building strength. If you plank regularly, the benefits will be far greater than a toned mid-section too, and you’ll find dynamic movements such as squats, lunges and even press ups become much easier as the muscle groups supporting your spine become stronger.
- Boosted metabolism – planks burn more calories than other ab exercise, even concentrated ones like crunches, as they force you to lock and tighten other major muscle groups including your shoulders, abs and glutes. Try to challenge yourself by trying to hold the position for an extra 10 seconds each time – if you plank daily, you’ll be surprised how quickly your strength improves!
- Better posture – our posture is directly linked to our core because let me tell you, it can be tiring holding ourselves up all day. By working on your core strength, you’ll naturally stand taller and you’ll suffer less back, neck and shoulder pain as a result.
- Improved flexibility – you might not think a static plank position can improve your flexibility, but this simple move stretches your hamstrings, arches of your feet as well as your shoulders and collarbone. Take this one step further by rotating into a side plank and reap the benefits of working your obliques!