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Many variations of simple Plank workouts

This is surely the exercise that you have a love-hate relationship with. Planks are a great way to work your upper body and core. They are intense and great for strength building. They work your abs, back, and arms. Let’s get into it a little more.

Plank workouts
© Men’s Health

So, how do we do a plank?

There are many variations of a simple plank workout. I’ll walk you through some of these plank workouts.

The high plank

This is the easier version of a full plank. You lie down prone and lift up on the palms of both your hands in the front and your toes, behind. Your hands must be placed directly under your shoulders and your feet should be hip-width apart. Ground your toes on the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. At the same time, make sure your legs are active. Do not flex or hyperextend your knees. Neutralize your neck and spine by fixating your vision at the front of the mat or directly beneath you. You don’t want to arch your back. Your head should be in line with your neck.

You can hold these different plank workouts position for a minimum of 20-30 seconds to begin with and increase the time by 5-10 seconds every day.

The Forearm Plank

forearm plank
© physique 57

The forearm plank workout is notoriously famous for being the thing that you put off for later. It is harder as your body is closer to the ground and you are resting on your forearms and elbows instead of your palms.

This is one of the most common ways to do a plank workout. Place your forearms on your mat such that your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders. Your arms must be parallel to your body. You may keep your palms flat on the floor and push weight into the base of the thumb and index finger or you can clasp your wrists together for better support.

The Knee Plank

knee plank
© summit orthopedics

This is a very easy version where you cut off half your leg length by taking a balancing point up to your knees. This is great for beginners and those who want to better their form. Place your knees on the mat. You can place a cushion under them if you need extra support and your upper body remains the same as above. You can choose whether you want to rest on your forearms or palms.

The Side Plank

This variation of the plank workout is a little different as it targets your side abs or your obliques. This is why people consider this a great way to lose your love handles.

side plank
© women’s health

Lie on your side with your hips and legs stacked one on top of another. Lift your body up on your palm or your elbow while not moving the position of your hips and feet. You may add more intensity to this plank by raising one leg or one hand.

The Single-leg Plank

single leg plank
© yogidia

By removing one point of contact with the ground, this plank workout is a more intense version of your regular plank. You don’t have to keep it this way. You may choose to alternate the leg raising timed to your breath, like a HIIT.

Get into a standard plank and lift one leg from your thigh. Be careful not to externally rotate your leg. You do not want to open your hips. Your buttocks must be at the same level at all times. Lift with your inner thigh.

Also Read: Health Benefits of Doing Morning exercise

Planks vs Crunches

Both are exercises that target your core and promise those 6 pack abs. There is a divided world when it comes to choosing your favorite. Some people despise planks and some will swear by them. Crunches are more universal in that nobody minds them so much.

planks vs crunches
© les mills

As crunches and plank; both of them target your anterior abs. the plank, in addition, targets the back, the glutes, and the arms with the shoulders. Crunches are more of an isolation movement of your abs. Based on the type of crunch, you can isolate it even further to your upper or lower abs. bicycle crunches work your obliques. Planks are easier to do from the viewpoint of getting the right form.

Crunches are very easy to lose. Doing too many crunches is also said to give you a bloated appearance. So, the consensus stands, crunches are great for building abs and just abs but the learning curve is a little steep. Planks, on the other hand, increase your endurance and work the whole body overall with a better and easier learning curve.

Benefits of doing a plank daily

Having learned how to hold a plank, it still remains a really difficult thing to not only do but also motivate yourself to do. So, in order to make it easier to get our heads around it, let’s learn some really cool benefits and keep them in our mind so it’s easier to get around to actually doing them!

Planks are bodyweight exercises. Therefore, you don’t have to rush to the gym or anything. You don’t even need a lot of space to do them. Just a yoga mat would be enough and enough space as your height. You don’t need to buy expensive equipment for this either

They work your entire body. It is therefore great workout to strengthen muscles in our body. They are good for al requirements-fat loss and eve muscle build. They are an important component of calisthenics, yoga, gymming, HIITs -you name it.

Planks are the best core exercise. Your core includes your abs and your back. The important muscles it targets are your transverse abdominis, your rectus abdominis-  both of which we call as the so-called ‘abs’. Other than that, it works on your obliques and your glutes.

Planks will improve your posture. Good posture will help our body develop resistance and of course, prevent multiple injuries that can happen to our bodies because of weak muscles around our bones.

1. Planks help get rid of back pain

plank help to get rid of back pain
© harvard health

The plank workout enhances the overall health of the back by strengthening the back muscles. Strong muscles provide support to your bony framework within. In youth, we don’t experience any problems concerning our bones but as we grow older, we need our muscles to keep our bodies strong. Planks help with that as they are an easier way to tone our muscles as they take lesser time and give great results.

2. Improves your coordination

Especially if you’re going for leg raising or arm raising plans, the practice helps you improve your stability and coordination.

3. Planks also help in improving your flexibility

They stretch out your leg muscles and the muscles on your back.

4. Doing planks regularly will improve your metabolism

Planks can improve your metabolism. It builds your muscles. It makes you burn more calories even when you’re at rest.

5. Planks improve your mood

Since the planks give you a nice workout, helps in overcoming anxiety and they also improve your mood.

Common Mistakes while doing a plank

Planks improve your mood
© stylecraze

1. Collapsing your lower back

Instead of compromising your lower back by dipping your butt, engage your core by imagining your belly button pulling in toward your spine. This will help keep your torso flat and, in turn, your spine safe. If you want to get super technical, have a friend gently place a broomstick or yardstick on your back. The top of the stick should make contact with your head, and the bottom of the stick should rest between your buttocks. The stick should also make contact right between your shoulder blades for proper alignment.

2. Reaching your butt to the sky

Planks aren’t supposed to look like the Downward Dog. To really get your core working the way it should in the plank position, keep your back flat enough so your abs feel engaged from the top (right below your sternum) to bottom (directly below your belt). Just don’t dip your bottoms too far toward the floor.

Letting your head drop While the focus may be on keeping your hips, butt, and back in the proper position, form isn’t just about your core and lower body in this move. It’s important to think of your head and neck as an extension of your back. Keep your eyes on the floor, letting them rest about a foot in front of your hands, which will help keep your neck in a neutral position.

3. Forgetting to breathe

It’s human nature to hold your breath when you’re in a strenuous position. But denying yourself oxygen can bring on dizziness and nausea, which are unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst.

4. Focusing too much on the stopwatch

Focusing too much on the stopwatch
© shinesolutionsgroup

Quality trumps the quantity of seconds ticking away. When your form begins to suffer, it’s time to call it quits. If your back starts to bow or your shoulders start to sink, take a break.

Conclusion

Plank workout is a great way to not only focus on your body but also your mind. Making it a habit is what is important in order to see results. Stay healthy, stay happy.

We hope this article helped you to know about many variations of simple plank workouts. You may also want to see our guide on What Too Much Sodium Do To Your Body, Salt Side Effects, and How To Maintain Hygiene In Intimate Area.

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