To perform a traditional plank, we simply hold our body off the ground by balancing on our elbows. The truck portion of the body should remain in a straight line while we continue to hold this position for as long as possible.
While this exercise might first appear to be too easy to result in any significant benefits, it actually takes a certain amount of strength and endurance in the abdominal region, back, and core to perform correctly. Planks also work the hamstrings and glutes while simultaneously improving balance, coordination, and posture. Here are some of the top benefits of this simple exercise that can be performed nearly anywhere, even in the comfort of your own home.
A flatter tummy
Planks really help to work the abdominal region, making them stronger and tighter. Bodybuilders perform planks to get that “six-pack” look. In order to get ripped abs, we need to also reduce our body fat to below 6 percent for men and 9 percent for women, which many consider to be unhealthy. But for a flatter, tighter tummy, planks are terrific.
Reduce back pain
Because planks help to strengthen our core, they are a wonderful exercise for reducing back pain. This exercise essentially helps to build the back muscles in much the same way as the abdominals.
Brighten your mood
Just as with nearly any form of exercise, planks help to lift our spirits and improve our overall mental outlook. The release of endorphins through exercises always helps, but planks also help to relieve tension and stress which can so often affect our moods.
Improve posture, coordination, and balance
As our back and abdominal muscles begin to strengthen and tighten, our posture naturally begins to improve as a result. Performing side planks or planks using a stability ball are wonderful alternative exercises which can help to improve our balance and coordination as well. Try a side plant where you position your body on the side, resting on one elbow with the top leg extended into the air. Switch sides after a couple of repetitions. Performing planks on a regular basis will help you to sit and stand with far less effort.