Core muscles are the most critical and often ignored group of muscles by any beginner who has just begun their fitness journey. They are present in the deepest layer of your abdominal muscles and help stabilize your spine and pelvis. The strong core provides an ideal framework for your body, helping you train the other muscles more effectively. It works in improving the overall posture and the balance of the body, preventing you from getting injured in daily activities.
Here are signs of a weak core:
- Chronic back pain
- Poor balance
- Improper posture
- Difficulty getting down or getting up
- Discomfort while standing for more prolonged durations
If you have noticed any of the signs mentioned above, then it’s time that you step up your core workout game now. Many different exercises like plank, squats, and crunches are a must to include in your core workout routine. Also, a core workout can be fresh when you use the half-ball balance trainer.
Plank is the most effective way to get that rock-solid core and shed that extra flab from your belly area. Plank has many variations and each combination gives an effective home workout.
Benefits of a Plank Exercise
- Enhance your posture- apart from your core muscles during a plank, the back, neck, and shoulder muscles get engaged. Your posture improves when you have a more robust set of these major muscles.
- Improve flexibility- The plank, especially the side plank, helps improve your flexibility by stretching the muscles.
- Lose stubborn belly fat – with regular planks, you get stronger abdominal muscles, which ultimately help burn the layer of fat over it.
- Increase core strength- the main target of a plank workout is to strengthen the core muscles with a gradual increase in the duration your strength increases.
- Reduce back pain- Core muscles can help you get rid of that chronic back pain because a stronger core will keep you upright and well-aligned in posture.
- Improve metabolism- it might look simple than any of the other core workout exercises, but all the variations combined eventually help in boosting your metabolism.
List of various Plank Exercises
- Standard plank
- Straight arm plank
- Plank with leg raise
- Plank with shoulder tap
- Side plank
- Side plank with leg lift
How to do a Standard Plank
- Set your hands at shoulder width on the floor as you would do for a push-up.
- Position your toes onto the floor and squeeze your buttocks with your legs straight.
- Your head, neck, and spine should stand in line with each other.
- Try looking at an imaginary spot one foot away from your hands to maintain proper alignment.
- Start holding this position with 20-30 secs, and as you become regular, try increasing the duration while maintaining the proper form and position.
*If you are a beginner, start under the guidance of a trainer. The correct form is more important than the duration.
How to do a Side Plank
- Lie down sideways with one leg piled on top of the other.
- Now raise your body with the support of your elbows and arms while keeping the legs in the same position.
- You can raise your level of difficulty by raising your other hand in the air.
- For beginners, try making it easier by keeping one leg ahead of the other for more support.
*Start with the standard plank and gradually up your game with variations.