The shaking, the sweating, and the relief you feel when those excruciating 60 seconds are finally over are all things that we can easily relate to! A plank is a strength training exercise that focuses on building your core muscles but has total body toning benefits as well.
When you do planks daily, your arms, back, abs, and legs become stronger, and muscle definition really forms. Simply doing just 60 seconds of planks a day will rapidly flatten your stomach and contour your tushy…Don’t worry if you can’t do the full 60 seconds at first, it’s a goal to work up to! Just make sure to do the full 60 even if it’s 6 increments of 10 seconds–you got this!
Apart from toning the body and building strong muscles, planks are amazingly beneficial for improving posture and relieving back pain. Check out what else daily planking provides..
TONE YOUR BELLY
The 3 main muscles that give us well-defined abs and a flat toned belly are:
- Transverse abdominis
- Rectus abdominis
- Oblique muscles
These muscles are present around our stomach and right below our chest. The accumulation of fats around these muscles makes our belly bulky. Planks target these muscles in our abdomen, and as these muscles get worked, the fat around them melts and drains out through the body’s lymphatic system. This results in a toned, flat belly and the appearance of abs and eventually that 6 pack!
STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE MUSCLES
The plank exercise targets these muscles in our body:
- Glutes (hip and thigh muscles)
- Shoulder muscles
- Arm muscles
- Abdominal muscles
- Back muscles
All these muscles make the core of our body. Strengthening these muscles improves our metabolism, keeps our body strong, active, and healthy.
IMPROVE YOUR BALANCE AND POSTURE
In the planking position, we try to keep our body straight while shifting the entire weight of our body on our forearms and toes (forearm plank) or our palms and toes (standard plank). As our arms become aligned to our shoulders and our back and legs remain straight and stretched out for 60 seconds, the muscles begin to relax. Our body does not feel stiff anymore, and we can easily maintain a correct posture without feeling the pain that we generally feel. Improved posture gives us a confident walk, and we feel a little taller and bolder than before.
Moreover, doing planks for 60 seconds every day improves our balance as our glutes, abdomen, and back become stronger. Soon, you will notice that it will become relatively easy for you to do side planks or frontal planks with one arm.
RELIEVES BACK PAIN
When our core muscles become strong and our posture improves, our back naturally becomes straight. Doing 60 seconds of plank every day reduces the tension and swelling in our back muscles. This improves the alignment of our spine and should mitigate future pain.
Planks are found to be extremely effective for relieving lower back pain. According to Healthline, researchers have found that core-building exercises like planks are more effective than physiotherapy when it comes to reducing back pain.
The results of a medical study conducted in 2017 with 120 participants revealed that along with other core-building exercises, frontal and side planks were very effective for reducing back pain.
WHY JUST 60 SECONDS OF PLANKS EVERY DAY?
Interestingly, experts find shorter planks to be more effective than holding the plank position for 10 minutes or longer. Medical experts and fitness trainers recommend that people should hold the plank for 20-60 seconds at one time because just within these few seconds, their body can attain all the benefits of planking. But to see improved results, they can do the planking exercise in sets. For example, they could do 4 sets of 20 seconds each.
According to another article in Men’s Health magazine, it was stated that after 60 seconds, there are no more added benefits of staying in the plank pose. In fact, after 60 seconds, your back starts to sag a little, and you cause additional strain on your arms and leg muscles. So, if you are doing it just to beat the world record of planking for more than 8 hours, you will end up causing more harm than good to your body.
Now that you are aware of all the additional benefits of planking for 60 seconds a day, spread out your yoga mat (or just hit the floor) and get to it! Even on our MOST busiest days, we can still find a single minute to get a workout in! You deserve it!