I can honestly say that when I first started working out, planks were not even close to being enjoyable. In fact, every time I saw them in a workout I was following I immediately skipped them and collected $200. Kidding! (But really, I wish.) Now that I've taken the time to learn how to do them efficiently and worked slowly to develop my form they tend to pop up just about every single day of training! So rather than begin your love for planks like me (in a dreadful way), check out my 5 reasons why planks should be at the top of your training:
Core Stabilization Duh. I know this may seem a bit obvious, but planking trains the core to be strong not just during the plank but after as well. Before you know it, you'll find yourself engaging that midline in everything from a bench press to a burpee!
Push Up Improvement The plank is the fundamental movement of a push up - no matter if it's on your knees, on the wall, or elevated. Having a long, lean line means your arms will take less work and the fatigue will take longer to set it! If you're goal is more push ups, then planks are absolutely for you!
It's a lot of work, in not a lot of time The thing is, many people say: "Well if I can't hold it for longer than 30 seconds, it's useless." Aghhhhhh (my wordage for a game show no) - even just 30 seconds of holding that core tight can dramatically improve your strength in your abdominals. So no matter if you're there for 30 seconds or 30 minutes...keep on keepin'!
Hot Arms I didn't see improvement in my arm toning until I added planks to my routine regularly. I may throw around heavy weights all day, but there's something about that static arm hold that truly sculpts beautiful arms and shoulders.
Anywhere, Anytime! You can literally do a plank just about any where you go. Try against a wall if the floor is dirty. You got this dude, no excuses!!
Mini-Tips for Planks
- To make them a little harder, try it one legged!
- Don't forget your side planks!
- When your palms or wrists get tired, try placing a foam mat under your hands.
- Track your progress.
- If you're new to planking: hands under your shoulders - nice long line - keep butt low and neck straight. If you cannot keep this form, remember a butt just a bit too high is better than a sagging butt which can lead to pressure on the spine.
- Rather than flood the page with a plank workout that most of you would think I'm crazy to come up with, how about we embark on a 1/2 month challenge together. Whaddya say??
From now until the end of Thanksgiving (yep, right through the holiday) let's plank every single day for as long as possible. Come December 1st, I'll check back in with you and see how you're doing!