Do Planks Really Work? The Truth about Planking
Want to build a strong core and lose belly fat? Are you tired of doing crunches and sit-ups? If so, it’s time to change your approach and try something new. The plank could be exactly what you need. While it’s true that planking alone won’t give you ripped abs or burn fat, it definitely helps. Consistency is important too. In order for this exercise to work, you need to do it regularly and use perfect form.
The Science of Planking
The plank has quickly become one of the most popular core exercises out there. This move targets your abs as well as your arms, shoulders, and legs. When performed regularly, it improves mental focus and makes you stronger overall. Different variations of the plank will hit different muscles. Depending on your fitness level, you may try regular planks, side planks, reverse planks, rowing planks, and more advanced versions like the plank rollout or plank crunches.
Compared to crunches and sit-ups, this exercise puts less strain to the lower back. Your spine should be in a neutral position when planking. When done the right way, the plank targets your entire core region, which helps improve posture and prevents back pain. A strong core equals better athletic performance and enhanced balance. It’s no secret that core training plays a key role in any workout routine. With this exercise, you can train your core without movement. This allows you to do the plank anytime, anywhere.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Despite its apparent simplicity, planking is one of the toughest moves out there. But do the benefits outweigh the risks? Many gym buffs are skeptical about this exercise. After all, there are better ways to train your abs, such as hanging leg raises, butterfly crunches, reverse crunches, or the stomach vacuum. The key to muscle growth is to activating the muscles near fatigue. This process takes anywhere from 60 to 90 seconds. Since the plank takes longer, it doesn’t address muscle size or strength.
Some experts claim that planking is overrated. Others say that it can be highly dangerous. It seems that hundreds of plank lovers end up in the hospital every year with costochondritis, an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum. Additionally, this exercise is isometric, so it might not be suitable for people with high blood pressure. In general, isometric training raises blood pressure. Another drawback is that planking puts pressure on the lumbar spine. (CLICK BELOW ON NEXT PAGE TO CONTINUE READING)