If you’re ever on Social Media, you would have noticed at some point or another the spread of the trendy and popular workout known as “The Plank.” Left, right, and center, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest were filled with Plank Challenges to partake in and share with your friends and family.
The plank, however, is not a new exercise concept. It has been used in Personal Training sessions, in Group Exercise Class regimes, and even part of Military Boot Camps for years. So what is this trending exercise all about?
The Plank is a simple, yet effective, abdominal exercise that you can do anywhere – no use of equipment necessary. According to Livestrong.com, “Plank exercises are a popular element of isometric training, which involves contracting your muscles against stationary resistance.” But user beware, proper form is essential to preventing injury.
The plank is a great way to build endurance in the abdominals and back. If held for a minute, the plank can build strength within your core. Strengthening your core is one of the best ways to elevate any back pain you may be suffering from.
How to Plank?
Video courtesy of Drew Mauro, Mercedes Club Personal Trainer and G. Rueda, Mercedes Club Operations Manager.
Planking looks easy enough to get set up, but holding the position is where you gain all the benefits. With time, practice, and determination, you can go from Olive Oyl to Popeye in no time!
Up the Ante…
You can up the ante a bit and make planking even more difficult than it already is known to be by adding some of our favorite variations listed below.
- The One-Legged Plank: Arrggghhh matey, are you up for this challenge? By raising one leg in the air, you increase all pressure on your core to fight your body from naturally rotating.
- Got Balls?: Add a stability ball to the mix by resting your feet there. Adding the stability ball gives you the added workout you need because now, you have to stabilize yourself upon the ball, opposed to a hard surface.