As one of the most effective exercise for strengthening the core planks are being underestimated from many beginners who often skip them without any particular reason whatsoever. But in fact, planks are very powerful exercises that not only strengthens the core but it builds the muscles on the arms, buttocks and on the legs. In spite of that, compared to sit-ups they shed up far more fat deposits and at the same time, they strengthen all the internal and external muscles on the back and on the core.
Those that have tried planking before will tell you that they’re one of the best exercises that engage the whole body. While you’re planking you will feel a little bit of tension in the arms, shoulders, chest, back, neck, in fact through your entire body. That tension will have a higher intensity at first, and after a while, it will disappear ( but not entirely).
- Reduces back and shoulder pain
- Improves your sport performance
- It prevents osteoarthritis and all the other muscular and joint aches
- It maintains healthy digestion order
- It boosts metabolism
- It improves balance and flexibility
- It improves mood
How to Plank
When you’re doing these exercises make sure to keep your back straight and make sure to uphold proper posture. Start these exercises by pressing your belly to the ground, keeping your feet at hip’s width with your palms beside your chest and shoulder width apart. It is very similar to push-ups.
Then lift yourself up by placing your weight on the toes and start lowering your arms one at a time so you can touch the ground with your forearms. At this point, your weight should be distributed in the same way on your forearms and toes.
Tight your core and buttocks by keeping your back straight and your head directed to the ground.
Most common mistakes that you should avoid:
If you let your hips, shoulders or your head to drop to the ground then this will compress your vertebrae, by putting a pressure on your spine discs thereby causing an inflammation on your shoulders and your hip joint.
If you place your hands very close you will create an internal rotation and instability on your shoulder joint.
Avoid holding your breath because it may create a lactic acid and you will experience a pain.
28-Day Planking Challenge:
Day 1-2: 20 seconds
Day 3-4: 30 seconds
Day 5: 40 seconds
Day 6: rest
Day 7-8: 45 seconds
Day 9-11: 60 seconds
Day 12: 90 seconds
Day 13: rest
Day 14-15: 90 seconds
Day 16-17: 120 seconds (2 minutes)
Day 18: 150 seconds
Day 19: rest
Day 20-21: 150 seconds
Day 22-23: 180 seconds (3 minutes)
Day 24: 210 seconds
Day 25: rest
Day 26: 210 seconds
Day 27: 240 seconds (4 minutes)
Day 28: longest you can (but do not sacrifice your form)
In case you find it difficult to make 20 seconds full planks, you can complete this challenge by using half planks.