'Plank' became the buzzword in fitness in recent years, but while we all claim to 'plank'  on a daily basis in a bid to 'activate our core', how many of us are doing it properly and do any of us really know why?

If you're keep tp get to grips with this popular and hugely beneficial move, then it's time to school yourself on how to do one and why.

How?

Begin by lying face down with your legs stretched out behind you and your elbows directly beneath your shoulders.

Raise yourself up from this position so that the tips of your toes and your forearms are the only body parts still touching the surface beneath you.

Feet should be hip width apart for balance and posture.

Keep your bum and back as straight as possible, so your entire body forms a straight line from head to toes.

Contract your abs, focus on your breathing and attempt a 20 second plank on your first try.

Slowly increase each plank by five seconds and before you know it, you'll have a one minute plank under your belt with little to no effort!
 


Why?

Improve your mood

Like any exercise, a plank, if done correctly, will release serotonin in your body thereby giving you a natural high.

Stretching and toning muscles, which are often neglected due to prolonged bouts of inactivity is bound to have an effect on your mood!

Flatten that tum

When you plank regularly, you strengthen your abdominal muscles.

As these muscles increase in strength, your mid-section will automatically tighten,

Increases flexibility and balance

The plank is fantastic for increasing the flexibility of various muscle groups within your body.

This simple move targets your shoulders, your abdominal muscles and your thighs.

How's that for a simple all-over-body work-out?!

 

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