Planking is one of the best, and fastest ways to strengthen your core! Not only is it effective in strengthening the muscles in your stomach, but it also is great for the muscles in your back. In most cases, if you have a weak core, you'll tend to have weak back muscles too, and vise-versa.
Having a strong core and back is very important, since these are some of the primary muscles that are used in everyday life. Performing a plank is a fairly easy exercise to demonstrate with correct posture and form, but it challenges the core and back muscles, as well as your mental toughness, trust me, when your counting down those last 10 seconds, mental toughness will come into play!
There are many different variations to the plank. Your basic plank is performed by having your body about 6-10 inches off of the ground, with the only parts of your body touching the ground being your forearms and toes(similar to a push-up).
To correctly perform the plank, you want your body as straight as possible, your hips, legs, and shoulders should all be in line, if someone were to rest a broom stick across your body it should touch, and rest in 3 places, your upper back, hips and calves. Now that you have correct posture, you want to keep the core engaged and hold for as long as you can! It wont take long before you feel the burn! Set timed goals for yourself, each time you plank, try to hold it a little longer. Like most things, the more and more you practice planking the easier it will get.
This is one exercise that you will see great progress after a short period of time, and one that is greatly beneficial to you! After you have mastered the original plank there are many different variations to the plank that can further challenge the core muscles.
Stay tuned to next weeks blog to see how you can master the side plank, plank to hip raise, balanced plank and plank to push-up!