The Plank is one of the most popular exercises among bodybuilders.
However, it’s not really known what exactly is the purpose of using this exercise? What are its benefits and drawbacks? Is it just a waste of time or does it have some potential advantages over other exercises?
Let’s find out!
What Are The Benefits Of Using The Plank Exercise For Bodybuilding And Strength Training Programs?
There are many benefits of using the plank exercise for building up your muscles. Here are some of them:
It helps build up your core strength. It strengthens your back and arms, which will make you stronger in all types of sports such as running, jumping, throwing objects etc. It helps strengthen your legs and ankles so that they don’t hurt when walking or even climbing stairs.
It builds up your chest and shoulders. It makes you look bigger than others. It helps with posture since it keeps your head straight while doing the exercise. It also improves your balance, which is very useful for athletes and dancers.
It develops flexibility in all joints of the body including your hands, wrists, knees, ankles and feet. This allows you to do various activities like yoga poses or even ballet steps without any problems. It increases your energy level and allows you to do more physical activities during the day. It is very useful in relieving stress since it makes you focus on your breathing rather than other things that may be troubling you.
As a result, it lowers your blood pressure and keeps you away from getting cardiovascular diseases. It helps improve your digestive system since all your internal organs are positively affected by this training.
It gives you a very strong core. It builds up the endurance of your muscles. Since it is very hard to hold a good plank for more than a minute, it forces your muscles to work very hard and this causes them to grow in a short period of time. This also tones up your skin and gives you a youthful appearance since it detoxifies your body as well.
It increases the strength of your bones since they are under constant pressure for a long period of time.
It is one of the best ways to burn calories and lose weight. It improves your posture since your body is always straight while doing the exercise.
It can be practiced by anyone regardless of age or fitness level since there are different variations of planks that can be modified according to your needs. It is one of the best exercises for both men and women that are expecting a baby since it gives strength to the pelvic floor and allows them to deliver a healthier baby.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Using The Plank For Body Building?
Just like everything else in life, even the plank exercise has its own set of drawbacks. Here are some of them:
It puts a lot of pressure on your wrist since it is in an upward position. This can lead to pain and injuries if you keep doing this for a long period of time. Not everyone is able to do the full version of planking since it is very hard to do so and they end up hurting themselves instead. People with serious back problems should avoid this exercise as it might make their condition worse.
What Equipment Do I Need To Do The Plank Exercise?
There is no need for any fancy or expensive equipment to do this exercise. All you really need is your own body and maybe a floor to do it on. However, there are a few things that you can use to make the experience more comfortable and easier for you. Here is a list of equipment you can choose to acquire:
1. A yoga mat: This item is optional but since it can make your palms less slippery and give you better traction, you will most likely have an easier time doing this.
You can get one that is 2mm thick and fairly wide in size.
2. Weighted vest: You can purchase a weighted vest if you want to intensify your workout with the plank exercise.
Make sure that the weights are properly placed in the vest and that they are not too heavy for you to use.
3. Exercise ball: You can acquire an exercise ball if you want to intensify your workout even more.
Just make sure to only sit on it when you are absolutely sure that it will not deflate while doing so.
The plank exercise is a brilliant way to build up your muscles without using any fancy equipment at all.
What Foods Should I Eat To Go Along With This Workout?
There are certain foods that can help you get the most out of this workout. Here is a list of foods that will keep you energized and motivated so that you can get the most out of your planks:
Whole grains: Whole grains contain carbohydrates which are the chief source of energy for our body. Aim to consume a whole grain food with each meal. Some examples of these are brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and oats.
Foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids: Our body needs fats to maintain its normal functions. However, not all fats are beneficial for our bodies. Foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seeds, walnuts, and eggs help burn fat while giving you stronger muscles.
Foods containing vitamin D and calcium: Vitamin D is a very important nutrient that helps the body develop and maintain strong bones. Some examples of foods rich in vitamin D are milk and other dairy products. Calcium is another mineral that plays a big role in keeping your bones healthy. Some good sources of this nutrient are cheese, sardines, and green vegetables such as broccoli and kale.
The foods listed above are just examples of what you should include in your diet if you want to get the most out of your planks. In addition to these, you can also consume other healthy and nutritious foods to keep your body running smoothly while giving it the energy that it needs.
This Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg!
As you can see from this article, there is more than meets the eye to this seemingly simple exercise. Similar to other exercises, planks can be modified and personalized in different ways for a more fun and fulfilling experience.
We have only scratched the surface of this topic so if you want to learn more about the plank and its different variations, go online and conduct your own research.
You might just unearth an untapped talent that has been lying dormant within you all this time.
Sources & references used in this article:
Patient-related barriers to management of cancer pain by …, C Mueller, A Nolan, D Pawlik-Plank… – Pain, 1993 – Elsevier
Emotional components in arithmetical learning as seen through autobiographies by EN Plank, R Plank – The psychoanalytic study of the child, 1954 – Taylor & Francis
What silence means for educators of American Indian children by GA Plank – Journal of American Indian Education, 1994 – JSTOR
An application of “broken-windows” and related theories to the study of disorder, fear, and collective efficacy in schools by SB Plank, CP Bradshaw… – American Journal of …, 2009 – journals.uchicago.edu
Becoming a caregiver: new family carers’ experience during the transition from hospital to home by A Plank, V Mazzoni, L Cavada – Journal of clinical nursing, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
Rebellion and Savagery: The Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the British Empire by G Plank – 2015 – books.google.com