Although plank exercises are very popular, lots of people still have this question: What is a plank exercise exactly? The Plank exercise is a strength exercise for isometric core involving a maintaining position of the body for maximum time possible, it is also known as hover, front-hold or abdominal bridge. The exercise improves the posture of the body and sculpt the waistline.
There are various types of Plank Exercises and each type engage various body parts for their strength and shape, for example, arms, back, shoulders, hamstrings and glutes. It also depends how long you hold to one position, whether it is 20 seconds or 2 minutes, your body reacts to it in a very positive way.
Variations in Plank Exercise
There are five different varieties in the Plank Exercise you can try discussed briefly below.
- Forearm Plank: It is the stand plank that is known amongst most of the people. You have to lie down on your face with extended legs and bent elbows under your shoulders directly and hands clasped. Your feet should be apart as the width of your hip and your elbows should be apart as the width of your shoulders. You should contract your ABS and lift your body by tucking your toes. The body should be in a very straight line from head to toe and you should hold this position for at least 60 seconds.
- Straight Arm Plank: It is a top push-up position of the body. You should kneel with your hands under your shoulders directly and go on to your toes, straighten your legs and contract your ABS. You will have to keep your body in this line from head to toe and hold this position.
Arm/Leg Lift Plank: This plank exercise targets the upper back, sides, core, chest and glutes of your body and helps you strengthen it to a great extent. In the same position of push-up hold you should raise your one leg up and hold the position and then try the same with the other leg. It can be achieved with time, so first you need to try holding the above two positions for longer time and then get to doing the same with one leg.
- Side Plank: This Plank exercise tightens the lower-AB muscles and also brace the entire core. You need to press your right-hand into the mat and turn your body from one plank position on the outer edge of your foot by stacking your other foot on the top either on the elbow or on your hand. Try extending your upper hand up in the air by holding the position and hold the position again for at least 60 seconds. Try each side, left and then right, one by one.
- Plank Jacks: You can add the jumping jacks to your planks to refine your ABS.
- Side Plank Crunch: You can enjoy your crunches by doing it in side plank position. You need to lie on the left side of your body with your left hand under your shoulder and fingers behind head. Crunch down and forward, bringing the right elbow to the left one, try it for at least 10 times.
- Dolphin Plank: It is a yoga hybrid that directly works on the shoulders, ABS and back and provides greater strength.
- Resistance Plank: You need to place a band around your ankles and wrist and for a straight Arm Plank and move left hand and your right foot out for 6 inches, repeat it 10 times on the other side also. It works on the hamstrings, shoulders and core of your body.
Benefits of Plank Exercises
You must be wondering it is easy and can be done conveniently, but once you try you will think of giving it up right away. This exercise need a lot of strength and consistency, but when look at the difference it makes in your body, you will never skip a single day and extend your duration with each passing day. This power gaining exercise provides multiple benefits and not time consuming at all.
Here are some of the benefits that will encourage you to a greater extent:
- Strength of shoulders, neck by building up a toned body.
- Mental strength and calmness with body weight held by the core of your body and relaxing your mind.
- Gain Six pack, strong ABS, thin waistline and broad chest. What a sexy body you can achieve with this, one you must be dreaming of.
- Decreases the risk of spinal and back injury. It boosts the overall metabolism.
- Works on the overall body balance. Women love a flexible body and it provides a flexible toned body.
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