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I've Tried Planking 1 Minute Daily for 1 Month and Here Are My Results

7 mins read
Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova

Taisiia Dobrozorova is a nutrition and fitness writer at Unimeal and a healthy lifestyle devotee. She has accomplished several courses on health, nutrition, dietology.

on June 27, 2022
Davi Santana, M.Sc.
Fact checked by Davi Santana, M.Sc.
Davi Santana, M.Sc.

Fact checked by Davi Santana, M.Sc.

Davi Santana is a fact checker at Unimeal. He has been a personal trainer for more than 5 years. He is well-versed in strength training, HIIT, running, functional training, and CrossFit.

The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.

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!

Table of content

What type of exercise is planking?

The elbow plank
The elbow plank

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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How to do a plank correctly

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:

  • Take a position similar to push-ups.
  • Bend your elbows and place your forearms on the floor so that they lie parallel to each other. Clench your palms into fists.
  • Straighten your body into a string, but do not strain your neck and back.
  • Tighten your abs and buttocks. These are the two main muscle groups that this exercise works.
  • Look at the floor in front of you. Hold the plank until your muscles start to feel pressure. 

While performing the workout, pay also attention on proper breathing and muscle tone.

The girl is shaking and is breathing wrong
The girl is shaking and is breathing wrong

How to breathe

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.

How to stop shaking

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.

Common mistakes

The right performance of the exercise (straight back, hips at the correct level, looking down)
The right performance of the exercise (straight back, hips at the correct level, looking down)

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.

Benefits of planking every day

A girl in a plank with a pumped up body
A girl in a plank with a pumped up body

I decided to try the plank when I noticed how effective it was. The accurately performed plank:

  • Builds your core strength
  • Increases body flexibility
  • Corrects posture
  • Shapes your glutes
  • Strengthens back
  • Improves body balance
  • Helps to lose weight

What happened with my body after planking for 1 minute every day for a month?

A girl with slim waist
A girl with slim waist

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 facedResults I’m proud of
Strained my back because of the wrong planking techniqueBurned 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)Stopped overeating
      Boosted my mood

FAQ

How many calories does planking burn?

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.

What muscles do planks activate?

When performing the plank, you activate the:

  • all abdominal muscles (abdominal, lateral, lower press);
  • back muscles that support the spine. With prolonged use of the exercise in training, posture improves;
  • stabilizer muscles, which are responsible for the symmetrical work of the body and the support of internal organs;
  • zones of the gluteus maximus and calf muscles;
  • arm muscles: biceps and triceps.

How many planks a day to lose belly fat?

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.

Does planking give you abs?

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.

Summing up

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!

How do you feel about my article?

Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

Sources:

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By choosing high-quality sources, we make sure that all articles on the Unimeal blog are reliable and trustworthy. Learn more about our editorial processes.

1.
J. Calatayud, J. Casaña, F. Martín, et al. (2017, October). Progression of Core Stability Exercises Based on the Extent of Muscle Activity. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. DOI:10.1097/phm.0000000000000713
2.
Matthew Solan. (2019, November 13). Straight Talk on Planking. Harvard Health Publishing. Exercise & Fitness. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/straight-talk-on-planking-2019111318304#:~:text=The%20plank%20pose%20is%20where,for%20strengthening%20crucial%20core%20muscles.
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G. Gupta , M. Alok. (2018). Effectiveness of Plank Exercise in Low Back Pain. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR). Retrieved from https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v9i10/SR201011145832.pdf
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J. M. Oliva-Lozano, J. M. Muyor. (2020, June). Core Muscle Activity during Physical Fitness Exercises: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. DOI:10.3390/ijerph17124306
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K. Seeras, R. N. Qasawa, R. Ju, et al. (2021, July 26). Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Anterolateral Abdominal Wall. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525975/