Plank exercise: what it is, how it works and what benefits it brings. Here is the guide to perfectly perform this exercise that has fascinated many fitness lovers for its simple effectiveness.
How many times do we promise to join the gym without succeeding? Without a doubt, doing regular physical activity helps to keep us fit; even a simple walk can help our body! Not everyone knows that there is an exercise that allows us to lose weight and get fit; this is the case with the plank! In English it means “board”, it is a type of exercise that you can do comfortably at home; it does not require equipment, just a carpet to lean on the ground.
How to do the plank
The plank is a very complete exercise; it not only focuses on abdominal work, but also on a number of the most important muscles in our body. For this reason we can consider it a valid ally to lose weight. To properly perform the plank you just need a space large enough to be able to stretch out. Let's see in detail how to perform the perfect plank:
- Rest your elbows on the ground, keeping them perpendicular to your shoulders: your arms must not be too far apart or too close. In addition, the wrists must be aligned with the elbows in a straight line
- With the tips of your toes, lift your body upwards while keeping your head and neck straight, without stretching, bending or hanging them
- Stay with your legs straight without bending your knees and contracting the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks and thighs, taking care not to tilt the hips to the side or to keep the buttocks too high
- Remain in this position for about 20/30 seconds then rest for about a minute and repeat the exercise for at least 3 times
Useful recommendations for a perfect plank
- During the exercise, keep the muscles in contraction to support the spine
- Do not drop your pelvis down by arching your back
- Do not hunch the shoulders, keep the shoulder blades down and open the chest
For the first few times, it is advisable to perform the plank in front of a mirror, so as to ensure the correct execution and possibly correct the most frequent errors, such as for example weight overload on the elbows, lack of abdominal contraction or misalignment of the hips with respect to the spine .
Benefits of the plank
There is a golden rule for the plank that you must always remember: it is not important how long we manage to maintain the position, but how long we manage to maintain the correct position! But now let's see what benefits a regular execution of this exercise brings.
Strengthen the core muscles
The plank will never ensure a flat stomach, but when combined with a balanced diet and other cardiovascular exercises, we can achieve the results we want in a short time. With this exercise, the muscles of the central core are trained, including the transverse muscles of the abdomen, which means having a well-defined abdomen.
For back pain sufferers, the plank is safer than classic abdominal exercises as you don't have to flex the spine.
Improve your posture
Good posture facilitates breathing and the functioning of the nervous system. Strong muscles and joints help improve body position. A good execution of this exercise will allow your body to assume a more upright position. In addition, the muscles that support the spine will be strengthened helping to correct incorrect postures. To learn more about "Correct posture, exercises and advice"
It makes you lose weight and tones your body
Thanks to the plank, the muscles of the buttocks and the tendons of the legs work. Which means toning the buttocks and legs. This position also allows you to work your abdominal muscles perfectly, both lower and lateral.
It prevents some pathologies
It is recommended to prevent osteochondrosis of the neck and lumbar spine. It also helps to relax the back muscles, after making an effort by lifting heavy loads.
When done correctly, the plank shouldn't cause any pain (just muscle fatigue) in a healthy person.
Different speech if we are talking about the rehabilitation of a patient with previous pain to be evaluated: in this case the plank is not recommended at the beginning, it can then be inserted with the continuation of rehabilitation.