No matter what your fitness goals, there's one exercise that fitness experts agree tops them all. It works all your muscles, helps with back pain, improves your posture, AND your flexibility, all while giving you a FLAT, tight belly.
Does that sound too good to be true? Believe it or not, it’s real. A simple plank can do all of that.
You probably have already heard of planks, since they’re a vital part of any ab workout. But there are so many benefits to adding planks to your workout.
They’ll make you more flexible. Planks help open your shoulder muscles and hamstrings, as well as your arches and toes. If you want to get more flexibility out of your plank, you can do a rocing plank, where you rock your body back and forth on your toes.
They’ll give you better posture. Since you’re working your back, shoulders, chest, and neck as well as your abs, your entire upper body is basically learning how to stay straight.
They’ll improve your balance. This is especially true of plank variations, like extensions or side planks. This exercise relies on your core to keep you upright, and a stronger core means it will be engaged when you’re going through your day to day actions, too.
They’ll flatten your belly like no other workout. A plank requires ALL of your abdominal muscles to perform it correctly. This is why the plank is such a great core workout. If you do three to five planks at about thirty seconds each every time you work out, you’re sure to build up those deep-seated ab muscles and develop a tight, engaged core. Even if you’re not at your weight loss goal, your tummy will get used to holding itself in, making it look flatter on its own.
You'll be stronger everywhere. Holding a basic plank takes muscles from your abs, shoulders, neck, arms, legs, and even toes. If you're looking for a simple, effective strength exercise, this is the one you need.
So what are you waiting for? Prop yourself up on your elbows and toes, suck your abs in, tuck your tailbone, engage your thighs, and breathe. The plank is as simple as that.