Planking is a great way to improve posture, alleviate back pain, pump up the abs, and much more. I tried to lose weight with the plank and wrote down some useful facts about the workout and my final results. More tips in the article!
Planking is an isometric core exercise in a position similar to push-ups. The key idea of the workout is not the number of repetitions but the duration. It activates all the core muscles1 and allows you to stay in shape.
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I used to make a lot of mistakes doing the plank before. But after my last experiment, I wrote the basic steps to perform it right:
Here's the correct course of action:
While performing the workout, pay also attention on proper breathing and muscle tone.
One of the mistakes I made was holding my breath during the exercise. The correct breathing pattern is as follows - slowly take a deep breath through your nose. Exhale in the same rhythm while trying to strain all the muscles, especially the legs, buttocks, and abs. Then you will not go astray and hold the plank longer.
Another annoying feature of planking for me was shaking. If your body is too tired and you can no longer perform the exercise in the correct form, your muscles tremble. It is better to stop at that exact moment. "In fact, you can maintain good form even while shaking. In this case, you should continue the exercise", - advices trainer Davi Alves de Santana.
Here are several beginner mistakes when planking goes wrong, for instance:
Slouching the back
When you raise the shoulder blades above the level of the head, the shoulder joints go out of position, the head drops, and the back is rounded - as a result, the body sags. My obvious recommendation - just watch your posture!
Lowering the hips
As soon as the muscles of the abs and arms begin to tire, you involuntarily lower your hips. Thus, the abdominal muscles do not receive the necessary load, which goes to the lower body. To avoid this mistake, try to lift your buttocks and spread your legs wider to maintain balance better.
Looking ahead or up
The №1 rule: the gaze should go down - to the floor. If you start tilting your head back and look up at the ceiling, or forward in front of you, then the load on the neck increases. It disrupts the correct load on the muscles. Control your eyes direction, and then your neck will be on the same level as the rest of the body.
I decided to try the plank when I noticed how effective it was. The accurately performed plank:
So, a month of a daily plank. I conclude from my results (in pounds and centimeters).
Thanks to the overall improvement in metabolism, the plank helped me to reduce weight by 4 pounds (2 kg), even not following a special diet. My waist size has decreased by 5 cm! It's cool, noticeable, and energizing to continue training. And one more result, not measured: I am insanely proud and pleased with myself!
For your convenience, I'll highlight my observations on a tablet:
|Problems I faced
|Results I’m proud of
|Strained my back because of the wrong planking technique
|Burned 4 extra pounds that flattened my stomach in 5 cm
|Increased the planking time for a week (I had to do more sets to improve)
|Boosted my mood
In 1 minute, a person can burn about 5 calories. Experienced instructors claim you can burn 250 to 300 calories in one hour of the plank. However, it is difficult to find someone who is willing to do a workout like this.
When performing the plank, you activate the:
If 1 minute of plank burns only 5 calories, you would need to perform 20 to 30 minutes to achieve significant caloric burning, but it is hardly feasible. Start with more active exercises, and leave the plank “for dessert”. Do 3-4 sets a day to speed up your metabolism. This may contribute to weight loss.
Plank is a good way to strengthen the core muscles. But for pumping up cubes, you need to use other exercises. You can achieve the desired result with dynamic exercises and proper nutrition.
The plank is the best exercise for pumping the whole body. It develops flexibility, increases muscle tone, and strengthens bones and the back. If performed correctly and regularly, it can help you lose weight and reduce your waistline when combined with other exercises. Complement the plank to your training plan and enjoy a toned and healthy body!
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