Don’t Hate Plank: The multiple benefits of this simple but effective exercise

Featured in the photo above – Top: GlamWorkout; Leggings: Victoria’s Secret/Victoria Sport

I am dedicating this blogpost to the plank exercise as it has been getting some bad rep. The reason for the mixed feelings is most likely the fact that standing in a plank position with proper form for extended period of time is indeed quite challenging.

It is also, oh so effective! So loves, please, don’t hate planking. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing planks actually are – in so many different ways. Now, let me tell you all you need to now about planks, and hopefully that would change or at least improve your attitude about them.

Here are 5 reasons why planks are awesome:

1. Easy way to get daily toning and exercise your muscles

Planks engage a wide range of muscles, almost your entire body. If I had to pick one exercise that I have time for before work in the morning, it would be doing a plank — for as long as I can. Start with 30 seconds first, then gradually add more time as you become more fit. You can do a plank anywhere — in your bedroom first thing after you wake up, in your office, in the park — plus you don’t need special equipment or attire.

If you need a plank companion, play this video, and we can plank together!

Do the Plank Challenge with me! Let’s plank together for up to 2 min!

2. Better posture, toned core

Planks work your entire core, resulting in a toned, strong mid section, including the abs. The stronger the core, the better your entire posture will be. When your body is aligned properly, it will look elongated, leaner and your’ll naturally have a better posture. You may also look taller and more confident. (Watch our video about the power of the Superwoman Pose here.)

3. Your favorite workout companions can make the experience more enjoyable

4.Add a twist to it, literally!  

You can perform the plank in various directions to engage different sets of muscles —  front, on each side and reverse.

The front-facing plank engages the abdominals, lower back, chest, neck, arms, glutes, and thighs. Side planks work your obliques, while the reverse plank tones your glutes, hamstrings and abs.

The main thing to keep in mind when you perform a classic plank is to keep your body straight and aligned. Don’t let your stomach hang too low or lift your butt too high. You will feel it when your form is right.

To perform a side plank, start by lying down on the side with your legs and body straight. Lift your body on your forearm for support in a straight line from head to toe, while keeping the butt off the floor and as high as you can. You can lift your opposite arm or place it on your waist.

For reverse planking, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your palms on the ground below your shoulders, and lift your body up while squeezing your butt and thighs. Remember to keep your body aligned from the shoulders to the feet.

Reverse plank.jpg

5. Have fun! = TheGlamWorkoutWay

Please remember, when you plank or do any kind of exercises, don’t force yourself. It’s much better to plank for 30 seconds three days a week than trying to reach the 1,2,3 minute mark and skip the exercise all together. Always listen to your body, it is your best compass. Now let’s do some planking! Bonus: Every exercise increases serotonin levels in your body, therefore it already adds a boost to your mood in any case!

Was I able to convince you that planks can actually be fun? Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram by using #idonthateplank or even better #iloveplank!

Lara from GlamWorkout

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