Planking is an exercise that has grown in popularity in recent years. It involves holding the body in a straight position, with the legs and arms extended, for an extended period of time. Planking works to strengthen core muscles and improve balance. This type of workout can be done almost anywhere, making it a convenient and accessible form of exercise. Planking helps to increase overall strength, but not only that; it also has a calming effect on the mind. It requires focus and concentration, which can help to reduce stress and improve mental clarity. Planking is an excellent addition to any workout routine as it helps to increase muscle strength while providing physical and mental benefits.
Benefits of Incorporating Planking Into Your Fitness Routine
Incorporating planking into your fitness routine can provide many benefits. Planking helps to increase your core strength, improve your posture, and reduce back pain. With regular practice, it can also help you tone your abs and glutes. Additionally, planking is a low-impact exercise that is suitable for all fitness levels, so even those who are just beginning their fitness journey can benefit from this simple yet effective exercise. Not only will planking help you build strength and improve stability, but it’s also a great way to relieve stress and get in some much-needed stretching as well. So if you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to add something extra to your workout routine, consider adding planking to the mix!
The 6 Most Effective Plank Variations:
1. Traditional Plank Exercise
The traditional plank exercise is an abdominal exercise that works to strengthen the core muscles. It is performed by getting into a prone position (on your stomach) and then propping up on your elbows and toes, creating a straight line from head to heels. The goal is to maintain this position for a set amount of time, usually 30-60 seconds depending on the individual’s level of fitness. This exercise can help improve balance, stability, and posture while increasing core strength.
2. Forearm Side Plank Exercise
The forearm plank exercise is a great way to strengthen and tone your core muscles. It targets your obliques, lower back, hip flexors, and glutes. To perform this exercise, you will start by lying on one side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Engage your core and glutes as you push up onto your forearm and feet, maintaining a straight line from head to toe. Make sure that your hips are not sagging down towards the floor.
Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat on the other side of your body. This exercise can be modified by dropping down onto one knee instead of two feet if needed. Try to do three sets of 10-15 repetitions per side for best results. Incorporating forearm plank into your regular fitness routine can help you achieve overall better strength and stability in no time!
3. Reverse Plank Exercise
The reverse plank exercise is a great way to work your core muscles and increase overall strength. It’s a simple yet effective exercise that targets the muscles in your back, abs, glutes, and shoulders. To do the reverse plank, begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended out straight in front of you. Place your palms on the floor slightly behind your hips and gently lift your hips off the ground.
Keep your head and neck in line with your spine while squeezing your glutes and pushing through the heels of your feet. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds before slowly lowering yourself back down to the ground. This exercise can be modified to fit different fitness levels by adjusting how high or low you go or how long you hold it for. Reverse planks are an easy way to improve balance, flexibility, strength and stability all at once!
4. Elbow Plank with Arm Lift
Elbow Plank with Arm Lift is a great exercise for strengthening your core and toning your arms. It targets the upper body, abdominal muscles, and obliques as you hold yourself in a plank position on your elbows with your feet together. To perform this exercise, begin by getting into an elbow plank position and keep your core engaged. Then lift one arm up towards the sky, keeping it straight and maintaining the plank position.
Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower the arm back to its original starting point. Repeat on the other side and alternate lifting each arm for 10-15 repetitions. Elbow Plank with Arm Lift is an effective exercise that can be used to improve overall strength, stability, and balance in addition to targeting those hard-to-reach areas of the body.
5. One Arm/One Leg Plank
IThe one arm/one leg plank is an excellent exercise for core and overall body strength. The goal of the exercise is to hold yourself in a plank position with one arm and one leg off the ground. This strengthens your core, arms, and legs as you fight against gravity to stay balanced. During the exercise, you should keep your hips square to the ground, your back flat, and your abdomen contracted.
To make the exercise more challenging you can add other dynamic movements such as lifting one hand or foot off the ground while maintaining balance. The one arm/one leg plank is a great way to build overall body strength, increase stability, and improve posture.
6. High Plank aka Straight Arm Plank
The high plank, also known as the straight arm plank, is a great exercise for strengthening your core and upper body. To begin, start in the starting position with your arms extended directly underneath your shoulders, feet hip-width apart and hands directly beneath your shoulders. Keeping your body in one line from head to toes, engage your abdominals while keeping your belly button pulled in toward the spine.
Maintain this position for at least 30-60 seconds and then rest. You can increase the duration of time you hold this position each time you perform it. This exercise can be modified to make it easier or more challenging depending on how strong you are or what level of difficulty you prefer. High planks are an excellent way to build strength and stability in the upper body and core muscles.
Frequently Asked Questions
What planks are the best?
The best planks depend on a few factors such as the user’s fitness goals, size and ability level. Generally speaking, full body planks that involve multiple muscle groups are considered to be the most effective at building core strength and stability. Examples of good planks include front plank holds, side plank holds, mountain climbers, and bear crawls.
Which plank variation is hardest?
The plank variation that is considered to be the hardest is the single-leg plank. This variation requires you to maintain a plank position while lifting one leg off the ground and balancing on the other. This requires an immense amount of core strength and stability, making it one of the most challenging variations of planks.
Which plank is best for belly fat?
The best plank for targeting belly fat is the elbow plank. This is a variation of the traditional plank exercise where you hold your body in a straight line, supported by your forearms and toes. It engages the core muscles and helps to burn fat in the abdominal area.
Is a high or low plank harder?
A high plank is harder than a low plank.
Are 2 minute planks a day good?
Yes, two minutes of planking a day can be beneficial for your overall health. Planks are a great way to build core strength and stability, which can help prevent injury and improve posture. Doing two minutes of planks every day can also help tone muscles and burn fat.
The plank is a great exercise that can provide a wide range of benefits. The core muscles get strengthened, which helps protect the back and makes everyday activities easier. Plank exercises also help to improve overall balance and posture. Additionally, it can help increase flexibility and stability in the upper body, as well as improving coordination and agility.
Furthermore, planks are a great way to burn fat, build muscle, and tone your entire body while also increasing your cardiovascular endurance. Lastly, they are very low-impact exercises that don’t require any special equipment or environment; you can do them anywhere at anytime! All these benefits make planks an excellent addition to any fitness routine.