HomeHealth and FitnessTop 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise | Stronger Core, Better Health
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Top 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise | Stronger Core, Better Health

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Derived from yoga and pilates, the plank is a deceptively simple yet highly effective isometric exercise that engages multiple muscle groups while challenging core strength, stability, and overall body coordination. This seemingly straightforward position requires activation of the core muscles, including the abdominal muscles, obliques, and transverse abdominis, which play a crucial role in maintaining proper posture, preventing lower back pain, and supporting the spine’s stability. This exercise has gained widespread popularity in the fitness world for its ability to offer a diverse range of benefits while demanding little in terms of equipment or space. In this blog, we will look at various benefits of doing plank exercises.

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Top 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise

Benefits
  • Strengthens Core
  • Improves Body Posture
  • Full Body Activation 
  • Reduces Back Pain
  • Enhances Balance
  • Efficient Time Usage
  • Boost metabolism
  • Improves Overall Mental Health
  • Increases Flexibility
  • Reduces Belly Fat

Here’s a detailed description of each benefit mentioned above.

Benefits of Planks: Strengthens Core

Top 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise | Plank Your Path to Fitness - KreedOn
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Planks are renowned for their exceptional ability to target and strengthen your core muscles, which include your abs, obliques, and transverse abdominis. This core activation not only helps you achieve that coveted six-pack but also contributes to better posture and spinal stability. Plank work like magic to make your tummy muscles strong. Having strong core muscles doesn’t just make your tummy look good, it’s like giving your body a power boost. Once your core muscles are strong enough, you’ll find those intense exercises much easier. 


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Benefits of Planks: Improves Body Posture

Top 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise | Plank Your Path to Fitness- KreedOn
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Planks are like a smart move for muscles and a secret weapon for better posture. By engaging the muscles that support the spine, planks help reinforce proper alignment and posture. Holding a plank requires your body in a straight line, which promotes spinal stability and reduces the likelihood of slouching or developing poor posture habits. The cool thing is this exercise makes your core and back muscles work together. It’s like they’re having a team meeting to make your body stand up straight. 

Benefits of Planks: Full Body Activation

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The plank exercise goes beyond core focus, involving various muscle groups for comprehensive engagement. Imagine it as if all these muscles are teaming up for a big mission. Your shoulders, upper back, lower back, butt, and leg muscles all join in to hold that plank position. They work like a symphony, ensuring your body remains aligned and steady. This holistic activation results in toned muscles and heightens overall strength. By uniting these muscle teams, planks foster a balanced and functional physique. This full-body synergy not only enhances physical appearance but also boosts functional fitness, making everyday movements easier and more controlled. 


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Benefits of Planks: Reduces Back Pain

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Planks are a valuable tool in alleviating back pain through their multifaceted benefits. By engaging the core muscles, the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and oblique, plank provide essential support to the spine. This improved core strength, contributes to better spinal alignment and stability, effectively distributing the body’s weight and reducing strain on the lower back. Additionally, planks promote balanced muscle development between the front and back of the body, addressing muscle imbalances that can lead to discomfort. 

Enhances Balance

Top 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise | Plank Your Path to Fitness - KreedOn
Image Source- Real Simple

When you assume the plank position, you’re required to maintain a straight line from head to heels, creating a balance that engages multiple muscle groups. The core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis, work in concert to stabilize the spine and support the body’s alignment. This core engagement is fundamental for maintaining equilibrium during planks and translates to better balance in daily activities. Furthermore, planks distribute your body weight evenly between your arms and toes, forcing you to control your balance and prevent tipping. The act of balancing this position trains the muscles in your shoulders, legs, and glutes to work harmoniously, further refining your coordination.

As you become more skilled at planks, you can increase the challenge by extending the time or incorporating variations, such as lifting an arm or leg. This progressive approach further refines your balance. 


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Efficient Time Usage

How to do planks correctly | KreedOn
Benefits of Planks, Image Source- Moneycontrol

Planks offer an efficient use of time in your fitness routine due to their simplicity and effectiveness. They’re like a quick power boost. They can be done practically anywhere, require no equipment, and yield significant benefits within a short period. A few minutes of planks engage numerous muscles, from your core to your legs and shoulders, offering a full-body workout in a minimal timeframe. This convenience makes planks perfect for busy schedules or when you’re short on space and equipment. 

Boost Metabolism

Top 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise | Boost Metabolism - KreedOn
Benefits of Planks, Image Source- BetterMe

Planks boost metabolism through two main mechanisms. Planks can boost metabolism through their ability to engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. When you perform planks, not only does your core get a workout, but muscles in your shoulders, back, glutes, and legs also work hard to maintain the plank position. This comprehensive muscle activation requires more energy expenditure, leading to an increase in your metabolic rate. Additionally, planks stimulate the release of growth hormone, which plays a role in building and repairing muscle tissue. As your body develops more lean muscle mass, your resting metabolic rate naturally rises because muscles demand more energy to sustain than fat. This increase in metabolism assists in burning more calories even when you’re at rest, making planks a valuable addition to your fitness routine. 

Improves Overall Mental Health

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Planks can enhance overall mental health. Firstly, this exercise promotes stress reduction by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers. As you engage in regular plank practice, it’s not just your physical strength that grows, your mental endurance and discipline also sharpen. This increased focus can lead to better concentration and mental clarity in daily tasks. Moreover, planks offer a significant mental health boost by boosting self-esteem and self-confidence by promoting a stronger mind-body connection, and instilling discipline and a sense of control in one’s routine. While planks are not a substitute for professional mental health care, they can be a valuable component of a holistic approach to mental wellness when combined with other healthy lifestyle practices. 


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Increases Flexibility

Benefits Of Planks | KreedOn
Image Source- Doctor.Ndtv.com

Planks contribute to flexibility through their unique combination of muscle engagement and stretching. While primarily known for core strengthening, planks engage multiple muscle groups throughout the body, including the hamstrings, shoulders, and back. As you hold the plank position, you’re essentially stretching and elongating these muscles, which, over time, improves muscle flexibility and range of motion. Although planks aren’t a complete substitute for stretching, their unique blend of muscle engagement and stretching makes them a versatile addition to your flexibility routine. 

Reduces Belly Fat

Top 10 Benefits of Doing Plank Exercise | Reduces Belly Fat - KreedOn
Benefits of planks, Image Source- Eat This not That

Plank exercises are beneficial for strengthening the core muscles, including the abs, but they are not a direct solution for reducing belly fat. To effectively reduce belly fat, a combination of factors is needed. This includes maintaining a balanced diet with a calorie deficit, incorporating cardiovascular exercises and full-body strength training, maintaining consistency in your fitness routine, prioritizing sleep and recovery, staying hydrated, and understanding that spot reduction is not an effective approach.

Tips to Keep in Mind while Doing Planks

  • Proper Alignment: Keep your body in a straight line extending from your head to your heels, creating a plank-like posture. Your wrists or forearms should be positioned directly beneath your shoulders.

  • Engage Core Muscles: Focus on engaging your core muscles throughout the entire exercise. Imagine pulling your belly button toward your spine to activate the deep abdominal muscles.

  • Avoid Sagging or Raising Hips: Ensure that your hips are aligned with your shoulders and heels. Steer clear of letting your hips droop towards the floor or lifting them excessively high, as doing so can undermine the efficacy of the exercise.

  • Neutral Spine: Your neck, spine, and hips should be in a neutral position. Avoid straining your neck by looking up or letting your head hang down.

  • Breathing: Breathe steadily and naturally while holding the plank. Avoid holding your breath, as this can lead to tension and discomfort.

  • Duration: Begin with a duration that feels comfortable for you, and progressively extend the time as your strength advances. Prioritize quality over quantity as you make this adjustment.

  • Variations: As you become more comfortable with basic planks, consider trying different variations to challenge your muscles. Side planks, forearm planks, and plank leg lifts are examples of variations you can explore.

  • Rest and Recovery: Allow yourself sufficient time to recover between plank exercises. It’s better to do fewer repetitions with good form than to push through with poor form.

  • Warm-Up: Perform a brief warm-up before starting planks to prepare your core muscles and prevent injury.

  • Listen to Your Body: If you feel any pain, discomfort, or strain, stop the exercise. It’s important to prioritize safety and avoid pushing yourself too hard.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the numerous benefits of planks make it a standout exercise in the world of fitness. From core strength and improved posture to enhanced mental wellness, planks offer a holistic approach to better health. Its simplicity and versatility make them accessible to individuals of all fitness levels, providing an efficient and effective way to achieve various fitness goals. Beyond the physical advantages, planks also contribute to better mental health by reducing stress, improving focus, and promoting discipline. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just starting your wellness journey, incorporating planks into your routine can lead to a stronger, healthier, and more confident you. It’s as simple as getting on the mat and start planking your way towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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FAQ’s

How do I perform a plank exercise?

Start by assuming a push-up position, but with your weight supported on your forearms instead of your hands. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core muscles. Hold this position for a specified duration.

Which muscle groups does the plank exercise target?

Plank exercises primarily target the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques, and lower back muscles. Additionally, it engages muscles in the shoulders, chest, and legs for stabilization.

How long should I hold a plank?

The duration of a plank hold can vary depending on your fitness level. Beginners might start with 20-30 seconds and gradually increase over time. Advanced individuals might aim for a minute or longer.

Can I do plank exercise every day?

It’s generally safe to perform planks daily, but allowing a day or two for muscle recovery is recommended. Listen to your body and avoid overexertion.

Is the plank exercise suitable for beginners?

Certainly, planks are adaptable for novices through knee planks or shorter holds. The pivotal approach is to progressively extend duration and intensity as you establish comfort.

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