This is the first of the Fitness Friday Tips I have started this year and I thought that I would start it with one of the most powerful muscle groups of your body – the abdominal section, but more specifically, your core which can add so much to your overall strength and fitness journey.
The plank is an exercise which is done lying on all fours in which you elevate your mid section until you are balancing on your feet and forearms. This exercise primarily works your core and secondarily works your shoulders, arms and glutes.
BENEFITS OF THE PLANK
1. Core Strength
The strength of your core is increased performing this exercise, which will improve your balance, your posture and your strength in other training exercises allowing for more progress for your ultimate goals in fitness.
2. Six Pack
The plank works your inner core muscles as the exercise tightens them, but remember for them to become evident you need to drop your body fat by eating nutritious food for it to be decreased, while training.
3. Improve Your Mood
After nearly any training you do, your brain secretes endorphins which assist in improving your mood, making you feel good. Otherwise, due to the stretching and releasing of muscle tension in the lower back and muscles that become tight from sitting and standing, your body feels relaxed.
4. Multiple Muscle Groups Worked
Like I said in the intro, the plank primarily works the core, but secondarily works the shoulders, arms and glutes.
5. Maximizing Benefits
Ensure your breathing is as regular as possible, tighten your core and squeeze your glutes to prevent your back from giving away and bending, because once you get very tired, it will start doing that, causing some pain.
The plank is a great exercise to incorporate to your workout, as all these benefits allow it to be the perfect metabolic finisher. Aim for 30s – 60s for starters and keep increasing your time as you become stronger and fitter. All the best!