The planking trend may be long gone, but there are plenty of reasons to keep the plank as a core part of your workout routine (pun intended). Planking targets your core as well as your back, arms, neck and legs for a total-body-toning move. Aside from the obvious sexy six-pack planking powers, there are many other reasons to add planks to all your workouts.
Before we get into just how uhhh-mazing planks are for toning your core, legs, arms etc., let's talk about planking 101. Keep that butt down and don't arch your back. This is no cat stretch, folks: we wanna see that body a-line (save that sexy marjariasana for yoga class). We know it's much easier to skimp on form, but it's better to plank correctly for a shorter amount of time than to forgo toning your core and place strain on your back and neck. Watch out for these other common planking mistakes and you'll be golden (aka toned).
That being said, one of the reasons we love planking is because there are a variety of ways to plank correctly. The four most basic and effective ways to plank can be found here, but if you're looking to get really creative, check out these 20 plank variations.
Without further ado, here are 5 reasons to plank everyday.
The plank targets your back, chest, shoulders, abs and neck--in other words, not only will it give you a toned stomach, but planking also strengthens everything you need for better posture and balance. We all know just how important posture is, and we promise planking will help you to improve your balance as well by strengthening that core.
Your core is anatomically central. Therefore, a stronger core means your body is able to perform better on almost every level. One of the best benefits of strengthening your core is that it relieves strain on your back, reducing back pain--especially in the lower back and neck.
Let's admit it, planking can be torture. It is pure mind over matter with very little movement to distract you from your burning muscles. But when we push ourselves to our limit in one area of our lives, it can give us the ability to stay strong in others as well. So when you want to drop 10 seconds before time's up, remember you're strengthening your willpower in all areas of your life.
Planking can build mental grit, but it also provides a serious mood boost. Plank exercises stretch the muscles along the back of your thigh (the ones that get tight after sitting at a desk all day) and muscles in your shoulder girdle that grow tense from slumping. By releasing tension in these stress storehouses, planking can reduce stress, suppress anxiety and make life seem a whole lot better.
Planking may not be your go-to stretch, but it will stretch out oft neglected muscles in your shoulders, collarbone and shoulder blades. It also provides release for the arches of your feet and your toes. Side planks stretch out your sides and can help reduce stress and increase flexibility throughout practically your whole body.
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