Fitness, Health

Plank Your Way to Fitness

If your introduction to planking exercise was through humorous internet videos and images of people planking in strange or exotic destinations, you may be selling the benefits of these exercises short. Plank exercises are a powerful way to improve your fitness and stamina. In this plank workout for beginners, we are going to explore the benefits and the basics of plank exercises and some variations. We’ll discuss how often and how long you should plank along with common mistakes to avoid. Finally, we will show you a five minute plank workout you can get started with today.
Before going forward, you should know plank exercises are not easy, and certainly not as simple as they appear. They do; however, offer fitness value not found in other exercises.

Pretty in Plank: The Benefits of Plank Exercises

Although many of the movements in plank exercises are simple, they benefit the body in many ways:
  • Improve core muscles. Improving core muscles is a significant goal of many fitness plans today. Plank exercises, when done properly, will have a surprising positive impact on your core. If you are in search of a flatter stomach, plank exercises may be the answer.
  • Strengthen back muscles. Proper planking will strengthen back muscles, making them less prone to injury.
  • Reduces back pain. For those experiencing back pain, plank exercises can provide some long-term relief. Have appropriate expectations; however, don’t be too eager for immediate or miraculous results.
  • Posture improvement. Even if you’ve had poor posture for years, plank exercises can help. Again, this is more of a long term goal, but the results can be lasting.
  • Improve you balance. Plank exercises can help the body align muscularly and along the spine. This can be helpful for those who find themselves occasionally losing your balance when getting up from a sitting position, sitting down or even simply standing or walking. You may find that plank exercises can minimize those issues.
  • Better flexibility. Although, the movements in plank exercises are not dramatic, many who exercise using this method have found improved flexibility.
Like most exercise plans, plank exercises have been known to leave the participant feeling better, improving their mood, and attitude. If you are in search of mental pick-me-up, try planking.

Take That to the Plank: Start with Basic Plank Exercises

A basic plank exercise is simple, but you’ll quickly find out it can be challenging.

  1. Set a timed goal. For beginners, 20 or 30 seconds of holding the plank would be considered successful.
  2. Get into a basic pushup position on the floor.
  3. Place your elbow below each shoulder, bending them to a 90 degree angle, and placing your weight on the forearms.
  4. The longer you can hold the plank, the more benefits you will receive.

Once you master the basic plank, try some variations to improve specific areas of the body.

  • One leg, leg-lifts – Start with the basic plank position, and lift up one leg and hold it. When done, return that leg into position, and lift the other leg and hold it. Your ultimate goal will be to hold both longer, but start modestly. This accelerates the benefits to your body’s core.
  • The High Plank – Start with a basic pushup position with your weight distributed between your face-down palms on the floor, and your toes holding your lower weight. Keep your back as straight as possible, and hold your head up.
  • Side Plank – Lie on your right side and prop yourself up onto your right forearm, which should be on the ground. Keep your elbow in alignment with the shoulder. Raise your hips while keeping your body on a straight so it forms a triangle area underneath your body. Keep your feet on top of each other.
  • One Arm Lift – Perform the instruction of the side plank, but extend your free arm upwards.
  • Reverse Plank – Take a sitting position on the floor with your legs extending to the front of you. Place your palms just behind and to the outside of your hips. Lift your hips and torso facing towards the ceiling.

Plank-tice Makes Perfect

This plank workout for beginners takes practice. To get the most out of it, you should set aside time to plank several times each day. Each and every time you plank, attempt to hold the position for a longer period of time.
Beginners who find difficulty holding a full plank can do a simplified variation of a plank by bending your knees until you build strength and stamina.

Fill in the Plank

There are some common mistakes made when planking that can short-circuit your results. Remember, when planking, quality is as important as quantity. Here are some frequent mistakes to avoid:
  • Avoid letting your head, hips or shoulders to sag.
  • Don’t place your hands too closely together. This can cause a rotation problem and issues with shoulder joints.
  • Don’t make the mistake of holding your breath while planking. Breathing can provide oxygen, and your plank time won’t be limited by your ability to hold your breath.
  • Hold the perfect position as long as possible. Don’t sacrifice poor form for longer times.

Plank You Very Much – A Plank Workout for Beginners

This plank workout for beginners can introduce you to planking, allow you to work on your form, and start to see the benefits of this terrific exercise. It can be accomplished in just five minutes:
  • 1 minute performing a normal plank.
  • 1 minute on a left side plank.
  • 1 minute on a right side plank.
  • 1 minute elbow plank.
  • 1 minuet leg raise plank, spending 30 seconds on each leg.
That’s it! If this is too challenging, don’t give up. If need be, cut the times in half until you reach the one minute level in all the disciplines. Plank exercises take no equipment, can be performed just about anywhere, and don’t require a lengthy time commitment. Discover the benefits of plank exercises by starting your plank workout for beginners today!