Could you ever imagine that all of the harassing workouts and exhausting diets you resort to can be replaced by only one exercise – a simple plank?
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How it works?
Plank is the only exercise that involves almost all muscles of one’s body. Supported only by hands and toes your body is kind of ‘hanging’ under the ground. That’s why it is not easy at all to keep the plank position even for a couple of minutes. If you are a beginner doing this exercise, don’t be ashamed that you can manage to stand for as long as 20-30 seconds max.
The benefits of this exercise are that you don’t need to spend lots of money for expensive equipment or buy memberships cards to visit gym. You can easily do it at your home. All you will need is a yoga mat, a couple of minutes a day, and a power of will.
Want to know how to do this amazing exercise right? Move to the next page!
The Classic Plank
Plank is not a dynamic exercise, it’s a static one. So it’s very important to be done exactly as stated below.
Do it right: Lie on the floor stomach down. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees angles and transfer your weight onto your arms. Your body should form a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Support yourself only on your forearms and the tips of your toes. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Hold your body as level as possible, tense your stomach muscles and don’t relax them. Try not to point your thighs towards the floor.
Wanna know what is a side plank? Follow the next page.
This kind of plank is not for the beginners as here you will be able to use not four areas of support but only two. It also has its benefits when training balance.
Do it right: While lying on your left side, place your elbow directly below your shoulder. Keep the legs straight. Put your right hand on your right thigh, still keeping those legs straight. Tense your abdominal muscles and raise your hip from the floor until you form a right-angle, balancing on your forearm and feet. Remain in this position for 30-45 seconds. If you can’t hold it that long, repeat the exercise until you have spent a total of at least 30 seconds in this pose. Change sides and do it again.
Get to the last page to learn about other plank variations.
Other Plank Variations
With raised arm: by doing so you reduce support therefore making your muscles struggle to keep all of your body in the desired position.
With raised leg: same variation as the previous one, but a bit easier. Anyways, by reducing the area of contact with the floor the strain on the stomach muscles is significantly increased.
Side plank with arm and leg raised: the raised arm and leg should be put parallel to the ground. This is probably the plank variation for the most prepared ones so there is no definite time framework you must keep this position. Just hold it for as long as you can.
Plank on an exercise ball: rest your elbows on the ball or put your feet on it.
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