Planks are one the best over-all body exercises you can do. This static exercise – meaning it does not require any movement – taps into nearly every muscle you have.
The really great thing is that it can be performed anywhere at any time with no needed equipment.
Start out with a 15 seconds plank and slowly over time work your way up to 2 minutes in 15 seconds increments. Trust me when I say the benefits of this one “super-efficient exercise” will not just do incredible things for your midsection but for your entire body.
How to perform the “Plank”
Lie on the floor facing downward. Bend your elbows 90 degrees supporting your upper body on forearms. Elbows should be directly under your shoulders.
Next, lift your pelvis and pick up lower body. The body should form a straight line from head to heels. Your body should now be supported in a “plank” with your forearms and your toes.
You should look like a low coffee table with your forearms and feet being the table’s “legs.” Keep your body as straight as possible, strain the abdominal muscles and do not relax. Try not to lower your hips toward the floor.
Feet – Keeping them together will create a balancing act that increases the pressure on the abdominal muscles.
Legs – Keep straight and rigid. Otherwise, the pressure in the transversus abdominis, which reserves the lumbar spine, will also be reduced.
Buttocks – Tighten and do not relax until the end of the exercise, as this will increase the activation of all the muscles of the lower torso.
Lower back – For proper execution of this exercise, your lower back should be flat and in a straight line with no sag or curve.
Stomach – Bring it in to the point that you’re tucking it under the ribs. During the exercise tighten your stomach but do not hold your breath.
Elbows – To avoid unnecessary burden on your shoulders plant your elbows directly below the shoulder joints.
Beginners start out by holding this position for 15 seconds. As you progress, increase your time by 15 seconds per rep until you reach performing a Plank for 2 minutes. At this level preforming 3 to 5 repetitions of 2 minute sets will be all you need to help tighten and mold your entire body.
So, what are the benefits associated with performing the “Plank”?
The exercise is mainly focused on the glutes (butt), hamstring area. So not only will you get the desired shape of the buttocks, but the cellulite will be gone also.
During the exercise, the lower back muscles are active, also the shoulders and the neck part. So, this exercise can serve as prevention for osteochondrosis in neck and lumbar spine. In addition, it frees the pain in the shoulders and between the shoulder blades, which occurs as a result of carrying heavy bags or long sitting at a desk.
Tight attractive legs
The main burden of the exercise falls on the feet. It includes all the leg muscles including the hips. There is no room for concern if you feel a burning sensation in your muscles – it is a sign that the muscles are at work.
It is quite obvious that together with the feet and legs in this exercise, you are intensively training the shoulders as well. Half of the body weight is held on them.
Flat tight stomach
When the whole body is tense, it automatically triggers the entire abdominal region, helping build an attractive, tight stomach and solid core region.