A beautiful and fit body is the dream of many. But you can only get it with the help of regular and correctly performed physical exercises. One of them is the plank exercise.
What is this exercise?
The plank exercise was invented several decades ago and was popular, but then for some reason it was forgotten. And yet, relatively recently, he was remembered again.
The exercise is static, that is, it does not involve any movement. It got its name, most likely, due to the main position, similar to the bar. The body should be straight, and all muscles should be tense.
What parts of the body are working?
It would seem that the exercise is incredibly simple. But during its execution, almost all the muscles of the body are involved. The bar allows you to work out the following muscle groups:
- Muscles of the legs. The legs are the main support, therefore maintaining the position is ensured by the tension of the lower legs, hips and feet.
- Muscles of the buttocks. They are also shrinking.
- Arm muscles. The arms also have a supporting function.
- Pectoral muscles. They ensure the correct position of the hands.
- The abdominal muscles fix the body in the correct position. It is noteworthy that almost all muscles of this group are being worked out: upper, lower and even lateral.
- Back muscles. They fix the spine.
The benefits of exercise
Plank Exercise Effects:
- Maximum muscle development. First, they begin to work to their full potential almost immediately after taking the correct posture. Secondly, the so-called deep muscles are involved, which, when performing normal exercises, remain in a relaxed state.
- The body will become toned and embossed.
- Exercise will help restore normal muscle function after injury.
- By exercising regularly, you can build willpower.
- The plank increases the body’s endurance.
- Exercise will help warm up your muscles before strenuous exercise. It can be used as a warm-up.
Benefits of Plank Exercise:
- No special equipment is required to execute.
- The exercise will not take much time. This is ideal for busy people.
- By changing the position of the body, you can change the load and maximally work out certain muscle groups.
- It doesn’t take much effort from you.
- Exercise can be performed by almost everyone, it has no contraindications and side effects.
The results will be noticeable within a month, provided that the exercise is performed regularly. The muscles will become more toned and prominent, you will have strength.
How to do it?
How to do the plank exercise? There are several different ways. Explore the options and choose the one that suits you best.
Classic plank on straight arms
- Starting position: legs are straight, feet are also straight, located next to each other and rest on the floor, arms are shoulder-width apart, hands are located directly under the shoulders, palms and wrists form a right angle. The head should form a straight line with the body.
- Fulfillment: as you exhale, take the starting position, strain all the muscles as much as possible and hold the occupied position. Make sure your body is straight and positioned correctly. The pelvis should not go down, like the lower back. Breathe deeply and evenly. Remain in this position for about a minute, then relax and rest.
- Benefit: the exercise works great for the abdominal muscles.
Classic elbow placket
- The starting position will be the same as in the classic version, but the arms will need to be bent at the elbows. Hands are also shoulder-width apart, a right angle should form between the shoulders and the body, that is, the elbows should not mix forward or backward. Brushes can be combined into a lock.
- Execution: Take a starting position and fix it. It is important to monitor the level position of the body and not to allow any of its parts to “sag”.
- Benefit: this option for performing the bar will help to work out not only the abdominal muscles, but also the muscles of the lower back, as well as the large deltoid and pectoral muscles.
Side plank on a straight arm
- Starting position: lie on your right side and rest your right hand on the floor. Make sure that the hand is in the same vertical line with the shoulder (a right angle will form between the shoulder and the body). Legs can be placed either one in front of the other (preferably the right in front of the left to provide stable support), or one on top of the other (this option is more difficult, since it requires balance). The left hand either lies on the left side, or is placed on the belt, or raised up. Turn your head forward or to the left.
- Fulfillment: as you exhale, take the starting position and hold it for a minute. Make sure that the body is straight and the pelvis does not deviate to the side. After a minute, change sides and do the exercise again.
- Benefit: The muscles of the buttocks and hips are involved. In addition, the internal and external abdominal muscles are tense.
Elbow side plank
- The starting position will be the same as in the previous version, but you need to lean on the elbow. Bend your arm and make sure your elbow is flush with your shoulder. Place your forearm on the floor perpendicular to your shoulder.
- Execution: make sure that the body is placed straight without sagging. Lock the position for a minute, then switch sides and repeat the exercise.
- Benefit: works the muscles of the chest, arms, hips, buttocks and abs. And thanks to the need to maintain balance, maximum workout is achieved.
- Starting position: rest with both hands on the floor, and unfold the lower part through one of the sides up. Place your legs in front of each other (it is better to place the first one that is closer to the support). It turns out that the legs and pelvis will be located sideways in relation to the support, and the body will be straight.
- Exercise: lock the position for a minute, then turn the lower part to the other side.
- Benefit: the oblique abdominal muscles are worked out as much as possible.
Plank with crossed arms
- Starting position: straight legs rest on the floor, arms are straightened, but not straight, but crossed. The brushes are placed next to each other.
- Execution: take the starting position and keep it for a minute.
- Benefit: the muscles of the arms are worked out, as well as the stabilizing muscles.
- Starting position: lie on the floor and lean your back on your hands. The arms are straight and shoulder-width apart, and the hands and forearms form a right angle. Look up.
- Execution: stay in a busy position for a minute, then relax.
- Benefit: the load falls on the calf and gluteal muscles.
- The starting position will be the same as in the previous version, but the legs need to be bent at the knees so that the lower legs are perpendicular to the hips, and the hips are in the same plane with the body.
- Exercise: keep your body straight.
- Benefit: Strengthens the muscles of the neck, abs, legs and arms.
How to complicate the exercise? If possible, lift one leg or arm off the support, this will increase the load. You can also place your upper body on a fitball. In this case, the load will increase due to the need to fix the body and maintain balance.
- If you find it difficult to maintain position, rest on the floor not with your feet, but with your bent knees.
- You should not immediately try to maintain a position for a minute. Start with 10-15 seconds. By gradually increasing the time, you can reach 1-2 minutes.
- Do the exercise daily, and preferably several times a day.
- Watch your breathing. Breathe evenly and deeply to oxygenate your muscles.
- Several approaches can be performed at a time (from 3 to 5). Rest between sets should not exceed 30-60 seconds, so that the muscles do not have time to “cool down”.
Take the plank exercise and evaluate its effectiveness.