Our desire to improve the body complexion drives us into the world of workouts and exercises, making us feel a bit lost – where to start, what to do first, which parts of the body to target first? At the initial stage of exercising, it’s essential to enhance your core strength, which helps us perform all the daily movements efficiently, not to mention the workouts. One of the best providers of strong abdominal muscles is a plank. When you do the plank exercise every day, you will strengthen your trunk and be prepared for other types of workouts, thus reaching a healthier and toned body. Let’s look into the benefits of planking every day and all the requirements for a proper planking form.
Why Do Planks Every Day?
Plank in Sanskrit is known as ‘kumbhakasana’: kumbhaka” means breath-holding, and ‘asana’ means position or posture. And this is probably what planking is about.
Planking everyday for a month, let’s say, is an efficient way to increase your fitness level and improve your physical health. A plank is a simple yet effective exercise that helps build core strength and stability by focusing on the entire body. Getting into the plank position is simple; however, holding it for a few minutes is challenging. Planks can be part of a yoga class, a gym session, and an independent workout.
Planks are suitable for those who need a profound fat-burning workout; however, they are short on time. Lately, it has become a popular social media challenge, which promises you benefits and all the possible health improvements.
The Benefits Of Doing Planks Every Day
Instead of general phrases of praise, let’s clarify the benefits of doing planks everyday.
Primarily, a plank exercise benefits the abdominal muscles carving up the midsection. Plank Exercise works on four muscle groups in the stomach together which helps to strengthen the core. As long as abs are part of the core, they become more firm and strong, proving the benefits of planking everyday.
Reduced Love Handles
Love handles are undoubtedly your least favorite part of the body. If your tight new dress is impatiently waiting in the wardrobe, it’s time you embarked on the plank challenge. It will help you tone up the muscles under the love handles and stimulate weight loss, which will help to melt the excessive parts.
Improved Core Strength
Your core muscles make the body’s central pillar, joining the upper and lower body together.  A strong core creates a good foundation for all the day-to-day activities, not just the workouts: sitting, standing, bending over, picking things up, exercising, and more.
Core muscle groups are the muscles deep within the abdominals and back. There are four main abdominal muscle groups that cover the internal organs:
1) transversus abdominis – the deepest muscle layer; it stabilizes the trunk and maintains internal abdominal pressure
2) rectus abdominis – located between the ribs and the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. It creates ‘the six pack’ that many people dream about.
3) external oblique muscles – they are on each side of the rectus abdominis. They allow the trunk to twist but to the opposite side. For example, the right external oblique contracts to turn the body to the left
4) Internal oblique muscles – are located inside the hipbones and function opposite to the external oblique muscles. For example, twisting the body to the left requires the left side internal oblique and the right side external oblique to contract together.
A plank benefits the abdominal muscles as they are fully involved in the proper plank technique.
See also — Skinny legs big upper body.
Improved Overall Health And Fitness
Planking provides the body with many advantages in a relatively short time: strengthened back, glutes, hamstrings, arms, shoulders, and poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles in 50-60 seconds.  Worth the try, isn’t it? Obviously, we can’t expect planks to make miracles with our health; however, it’s a good way to improve your performance. Apart from enhanced physical performance, planking helps your mental state. When you see the results of your work, you will be full of pride in such achievements.
Improved Daily Functioning
Planks keep your core strong, which means it improves your ability to carry and support your own weight. If you keep doing planking every day, you will notice that your muscles become more toned, and your movements are more agile. You will no longer need help to lift heavier weights or carry bags.
Your basic metabolism is the number of calories you need to cover everyday life and functions: sleeping, walking, breathing, digestion, etc. Typically it’s 1200 calories and more. When you work your body with such intensive exercises as planks, you increase your body’s energy needs and, thus, get an enhanced metabolic rate. This is the way to improve the number of resting calories. Besides, by performing a plank, you stimulate the growth of muscle tissue by burning fat; as muscles consume more energy, you burn more calories.
Planks are among traditional abdominal exercises for improving your posture. If you notice frequent humping, do planking, and you will observe the first changes in a few days. First of all, your muscles will keep your back straight even without your mental reminders. Secondly, you will even look taller, more confident, and self-assured, which greatly benefits your overall appearance and performance.
How To Do A Standard Plank?
- Lie down on the floor with your elbows under your shoulders; your hands are flat on the floor, and your core is engaged.
- Keep your forearms and knees on the floor and slowly raise yourself until your body is straight from your knees to your head.
- Hold the position for as long as you can; your abs muscles may start shaking, which is a sign of tension required for the exercise.
How To Do A Full Plank?
- Start in a press-up position.
- Bend your elbows until your forearms are on the floor; your body is straight from your feet to your head.
- Keep your core tight and look at the space between your hands to ensure a neutral spine position.
- Hold the position for as long as you can.
How To Do A Side Plank
Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
- Lie down on your left side with feet together and forearm beneath your shoulder.
- Brace your core and raise your hips so your body is straight from your feet to your head.
- Hold this position for as long as you can.
- Repeat on your right side.
Tips To Help You Reap The Most From Doing Planks Every Day
Plank is a static exercise that is basically keeping your body in a straight line parallel to the ground. It engages multiple muscles to help you keep the proper form. Apart from the core, shoulders, arms, and glutes, planks protect you from the risks of back pain. Planks are equipment-free and quick to perform.
However, if you feel it’s an easy workout and you can hold the position for more than a minute from the first session, analyze the way you do it, as long as there are definitely mistakes.
Regularly adding planks to your fitness regime will go some way to conditioning your core and improving your posture and stability.
Maintaining The Correct Form
When you keep practicing every day, you should be aware of the possible mistakes which will degrade the benefits of planks everyday and can even cause injuries.
- Collapsing lower back – you need to keep the body straight and aligned. If you struggle to feel the proper form, put a stick onto your back – you need to keep it in contact with your head, between shoulder blades, and between the butt. If you feel the whole line, you made a proper alignment.
- Too high butt – to get your core and all the muscles adequately engaged, you need to keep a straight and flat back aligned with your head and butt.
- Letting your head drop – it’s essential to make the head and neck an extension of your back. Keep your eyes on the floor – about a foot in front of your hands, which will help keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Forgetting to breathe – lank is quite strenuous to perform, and, naturally, we can hold our breath. However, without oxygen, you will have all the plank exercise benefits replaced with dizziness.
- Too much attention for the time – when you are a beginner, don’t trade quality for time. Take a break if your back starts to bow or your shoulders to sink. You will build the form with time, practicing a proper form regularly.
Starting With The Regular Plank
One of the biggest mistakes when we do planks, is your initial impatient motivation. Being tired of excessive fatty handles or fatty bellies, we want to reach the proper form as soon as possible, rushing into intensive, yet incorrect, repetitions, more and more advanced variations of the exercises – side planks, planks with crunches, etc. The variations will also positively impact your body; however, there’s a high chance you will not do them correctly. When you are just a beginner, give your body and muscles time to adjust to a new routine and form of activities. Don’t push too hard. A classic plank exercise every day will help you get the ball rolling and slowly move on to the more complicated forms.
Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle
By doing planks every day for 15 minutes and then exceeding all the limits of screentime (with snacks, of course), don’t expect to see significant changes in your complexion.
The workouts you added to your daily routine require a solid backup: a new dietary regimen and active life. How to keep it going?
- Make an observation week – make notes of everything you eat or drink, and with the help of simple calculators, count your calorie intake. There’s a high chance that you overeat even without noticing it. A lot of food we consume might seem “light”; however, it’s a caloric bomb. If you constantly snack without moving, to spend this energy, all the lightness will double and triple on your thighs.
- Be active – as simple as that. Don’t wait for someone to bring you a cup; go and wash the dishes and make a room clean-up. Change your passive state into an active and your body weight will get lower without workouts.
- Replace quick carbs – typically refined sugars, with complex ones, which give you a more prolonged feeling of satiety.
- Create a menu with enough proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs to cover your need for micro- and macronutrients and to keep you going.
- Don’t forget about fruits and vegetables; they will enrich you with vitamins better than any supplements you buy.
Warming Up And Cooling Down
Plank exercises, like any other type of workout, require a warmed-up body. Give your body 10 minutes to prepare – it will increase your heart rate, raise your body temperature and stimulate blood circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles.  When you start with a warm-up, you are less likely to get injured. Running on the spot, stretching, jumping – the range of exercises is pretty big. With the warm-up, you needn’t care about time and number of repetitions; just let your muscles wake up for further exercising.
When it comes to planning your daily routine, remember to include planking on the list to strengthen the core muscles and your lower back, improve body flexibility, and train endurance while holding your balance. Plank benefits go beyond any expectations, however, only when you work with the recommended form.
To make all the health benefits sustainable, changing your lifestyle and eating habits is essential. Only the combination of exercises with proper nutrition will lead you to a desirable balance and successful results.
While doing planks regularly, it’s important not to get stuck in the numbers. People who insanely check every centimeter and gram lost will have the strength of core muscle fade compared to the anxious mental state. Instead of making the workout routine a burden, find pleasure in it: isn’t it great to feel that you can do strenuous exercises and your muscles are becoming strong? Enjoy every small bite of food, and take your time to taste it; it will prevent you from overeating.
Keep working, but keep it simple and pleasant – that’s the way to success.