Planking is a dreaded exercise for most people because of its toughness. Where you lie face down, and find balance using  your elbows , with your core acrhed in and your back straight. And you know what the best part is, planking requires no use of expensive gym equipment or even membership.And yet it provides  some of the most amazing benefits exercising  to your body and soul.

#1 Sense of Balance

Planking is capable of pushing you to find your weightfulness. An athlete’s weighfulness is the proportional center of the body, where it can freely  rotate in any direction and be well balanced on all contrary sides. This weight exists at a point in line with the midriff of the body at about 55% of the athlete’s height. (1)

Using a stability ball is an amazing choice of exercise when doing the plank, it helps improve body balance and synchronization. A research in 2012 shows the composite relationship between muscle strength and the way dancers position their bodies, and most importantly, for women who exercise, planking and balance control can minimize the risk of injury.(2)

#2 Body Posture

You might want to shift that trip to your health practitioner a little further, just incase you have not been planking regularly because regular planking and a good body position increases your  performance, and makes breathing easier.  Regular planking aids body posture, while straightening and Safely  supporting your back.

#3 Strengthens Core

All exercises are only effective when rightly done, and is no exception. Be sure you are not unnecessarily straining your back and make sure it is in coordination with   your shoulders and legs. Tug in your abdomen toward your spine, then you will feel a sensation. To perform this exercise effectively, the coordination of your core and muscle strength must come to play.

Below are the four major muscle groups that benefits from this work out:

  • Working your Gluteus Maximus gives you a robust and firm behind.
  • If you enjoy the sensation that comes with bicycle crunches, then working your oblique muscles would be really great as planking is sound for them. Planking enables your ability to bend and twist without much difficulty.
  • Training out your Transverse Abdominis will enable you to lift more weight without having to strain your shoulder or back.
  • Rectus Abdominous  muscle group is a very delicate part, that holds your weightness and help you gain a firm and flat tummy. (4)

#4 Spine and Back Support

Over 80% of world population suffer back pain, and this is as a result of some of our rigorous daily activities. Planking   regularly can help prevent spine damage and back cramps.

#5 Mental Health

A fine body shape can be  linked to 3 main psychological benefits.

Confidence; sometimes even our body posture goes a long way in portraying confidence even without us knowing it. This can even boost our performance at a job interview, a seminar or any other social platform. Confidence goes a long way in building stronger relationships. A research carried out by professor Amy Cuddy, an associate professor at Harvard University, proves that confidence is a powerful body language that can help shape humans.

Stress and mood:Erik Peper conducted a series of experiments to find out how one’s posture could affects their thoughts both positively and negatively. In this experiment he concluded that upright and dynamic people were a lot happier and full of life. While people with   slouch body posture were lonely and depressed.

The side effects of  stress can not be over – emphasized, as it aids poor body posture and even prolongs it. Maintaining a good posture helps retain your  self-worth, eliminate low self-esteem, and makes you look a lot vibrant as against a slouch posture. So try sitting upright, it just maybe all you need to deal with stress.

Alertness: planking gives you an improved posture which in turn makes you more alert and this increases the productivity of your mind.  The oxygen you inhale is cut down by 30%  when you bend your back over compared to when you sit upright. An obstruction in the  flow of oxygen can drain your energy and hinder your brain performance. Studies show that posture can affect a child’s ability to learn. Maintaining an upright position aids their senses chart  new events.  (7)

#6 Higher Flexibility

Lengthening and extending the shoulder blades, the feet, the hamstring, the toes and the  clavicle, while planking helps to increase your  flexibility. Side planking employs the oblique muscles. Pliability is very important to support body weight while planking.

#7 Faster Metabolism

Planking aids weight loss. You burn up to 350 calories when you sit upright. A 1972 study shows that your body posture can influences the chemical reaction of hormones in your body.

Tips on Perfecting Your Plank

  • Pay no attention to the clock, focus on your surrounding to take your mind off the heat.
  • Set goals for yourself, like aiming to hold an elbow plank for a minute or more
  • Make your planks active and energetic by turning out a few side planks at intervals
  • Try some other movements in your planks and try to coordinate them like hand presses
  • Exercise your core by acting like someone is going to punch you in the belly
  • You can plank in front of a mirror to be sure you maintain the right position
  • Push yourself to the limit, try planking in sets; if after the first one you don’t feel like you have run out of breath you can try some more rounds and see how far you can go.

No matter what you think of planking, it is still the most effective and easiest exercise that demands no expensive equipment or gym membership. A full body exercise that increases strength and flexibility even while preventing you from physical injury. Also perfect for improving mood and mental state of mind.

Source: Life Hack