Come on, even the name sounds foolish! Planking? Really?
When you plank, you just hold yourself in a simple position on the floor. There’s no movement, no weight lifting, and the young and old alike can do it. So it may be surprising that a lot of people complete plank workouts everyday.
It might seem even more ridiculous to add planking to your everyday workout routine, but there are actually a lot of good reasons to add planks.
Reasons to add planks to your workout include:
Reason #1. Planks are Easy
“Easy” and “workout” usually don’t go hand in hand. But it’s actually important to have some exercises that you know are manageable included in your daily routine. Easy to learn exercises like planking don’t require much motivation and tend to not be so frustrating, which makes them more encouraging.
Plus, planks are easy in part because they can be so fast. A perfect plank need only last about 20 seconds. As you grow stronger, you may hold it for longer. Regardless, the exercise is quick and that makes it convenient.
Reason #2. You Can Plank Almost Anywhere
Another reason that planks are so convenient (thus removing your excuse for skipping them) is that you can do them virtually anywhere. Like a pushup or a sit up, all you need for a plank is some floor space.
Some planks are performed with the feet or the hands raised on a medicine ball, stability ball, bench, couch, wooden trunk, etc. Though slightly less convenient, these types of planks can still be performed in many different places.
Since planks do not require extensive motions and don’t tend to cause you to sweat much, you can easily complete your plank workouts in regular clothing, as well.
Reason #3. Planks are Really Good for You
Besides convenience, planks offer a wide variety of benefits for your body. For instance, planks:
- Tone your belly and abs
- Work out major muscles groups, including your back, abs, arms, and legs
- Increase your body’s flexibility
- Help improve posture and give you a better sense of balance
- Improve your mood by telling your body to release endorphins
- Reduce pain associated with weak muscles and bad posture
Easy, convenient, and good for your health, planks have a lot to offer you, regardless of your current level of fitness.
Reason #4. You Can Alter Planks As Needed
That planks can be altered as needed also makes them more useful and beneficial.
For instance, people with a low level of fitness can make planks more reasonable for themselves by:
- Planking with the forearms on the floor
- Planking with the knees on the floor
- Holding the position for a shorter period of time
At the same time, planks can be made more challenging or can more specifically target certain muscles groups when altered. Some people perform entire plank workout routines using variations of the exercise because it can be enhanced to be so intense.
To enhance your plank workout, try:
- Single leg planks
- Single arm planks
- Side planks
- Elevated leg or arm planks
- Planking from a medicine or stability ball
- Performing plank pushups
- Plank single arm or single leg pushups
- Weighting any of the above exercises
- Planking with weights on your back
- Performing repetitions of planks in sets
- Holding your planks for a minute at a time
Reason #5. Planks Prepare Your Body for Fitness
Last but certainly not least, you can count on planks to get your body ready for better, more effective fitness exercises. Planking helps prepare your body to:
- Run, jog, and walk better
- Maintain a better lifting technique
- Achieve greater balance for other exercises
- Hold postures in yoga and other exercise routines
- Have more control over the muscles when performing abdominal workouts
- Stabilize you for exercises that require endurance or higher intensity
- Improve your circulation and boost your heart rate gently
All of these benefits of planking make it a great exercise to warm up with when you work out everyday and planking is wise to practice periodically throughout the day.
Whether you’re looking to improve your posture, tone your belly, or enable your body to have a better technique for muscle building, planking really does help. Since it is super easy and convenient too, planking should definitely be added into your everyday workout routine.