When you think of planks, you may think of six-pack abs and powerful arms. Or the explosion of plank challenges you may see online. But do you know the benefits of those six-pack abs, other than showing them off?
Physical Benefits of Planking Every Day
Besides your abs, planking works with a variety of other muscle groups as well. And since most of these groups are considered part of your core, they are essential to your overall health and well-being.
While a typical plank targets your back and abdominal muscles, a side plank adds your glutes and hips to the mix. As these muscles strengthen, your risk of several health issues decreases.
Since planking burns calories, it is one of the most effective exercises you can do to increase your metabolism as well, further shedding body fat and molding your core to peak potential.
Other Benefits of Planks
In addition to increasing your physical fitness, planking can also increase your overall flexibility and stability.
Planks greatly increase the flexibility of all of the muscular groups in the back of your body, not just your glutes. These include the muscles in and around your collarbone, shoulder blades, and shoulders themselves. With continued planking, these muscles will expand and contract, which is wonderful because these muscles are frequently ignored during many traditional training programs.
Planking can also increase your focus and coordination. The body’s core muscles are used to support balance. This is evident while exercising in any form, such as jogging or biking, or while engaging in physical leisure activities like dancing. Many people believe that their extremities are what keep them in balance, and although this is partially true, your center is actually where you stabilize yourself the most.
A strong core can help you prevent injuries to specific muscle groups that could be overworked while trying to maintain balance during vigorous exercise. For instance, snowboarding places a lot of strain on the calves. Thus having a strong core might lessen this strain.
In addition to teaching you how your body and muscles interact, strengthening your core can also help you control one muscle group at a time rather than trying to control several distinct muscle groups at once.