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Top Benefits of Planking
Are you curious about the benefits of planks? This famous workout is simple but effective—and you can do it anywhere. Learn about plank benefits for your strength, endurance, and more from the team at Jack City Fitness!
Top Plank Exercise Benefits
Planking is one of the most popular exercises out there, and we can see why. It requires no equipment, and the form is straightforward. Besides, you can perform a plank anywhere!
(Who else remembers the “planking in public challenge” fad from the 2010s?)
While the straightforward and accessible nature of planking is a big draw for all kinds of athletes, they aren’t the only elements that make this workout great. There are tons of physical benefits of doing planks, too!
Here at Jack City Fitness, we love a good plank, and we’re happy to share our knowledge and passion about this exercise with you. Read on to see our top planking tips and benefits. You can also come and see us in person—we’d love to answer any questions you have about your form, plank benefits, or anything else fitness-related!
What Are Planks?
Before we dive into the benefits of doing planks, let’s cover the basics.
“Planking” is a type of exercise that targets and strengthens the abdominal and other core muscles. It requires no special equipment and is an appropriate workout for athletes of any fitness level.
At its most basic, planking is simply laying in a very straight line. Of course, there’s more to it than that—this type of position requires serious strength and form! When you’re getting started with planking, we recommend that you find a coach or gym buddy to help you nail your form.
Once you have that down, you can plank wherever you want. Really—a quick internet search of “planking 2012” will show you people doing this pose everywhere, from bridges to on actual horses. While we don’t recommend trying to restart that old trend, it’s a great reminder of how accessible this workout can be.
How to Properly Perform a Plank
Planks are a straightforward exercise to learn and perform. To try one yourself, find a spot on the floor that will fit the entire length of your body, and lay a yoga mat down.
Lay face down on the mat, so your toes and forearms are touching it. Your head should be relaxed and looking down. When you’re ready, engage your core and hold your body in a straight, rigid line. Don’t arch your back or let your hips sag—imagine yourself as a plank of wood!
Hold this pose—10 seconds is a good beginner’s time—and then relax your body back into the mat. As you perfect the plank, you can increase your hold time.
Can Anyone Plank?
Planking is a great workout for beginners, but it might not be the right fit for everybody. Planking may not be ideal for athletes nursing a recent or chronic shoulder injury. Some women also prefer to avoid planking during pregnancy, although it is considered safe overall.
We recommend that anybody trying a workout consult their doctor before jumping in. We also believe it’s always best to learn new workouts with a professional trainer or coach.
Are Planks Good for You?
Yes, definitely! There’s a reason this exercise feels so timeless. There’s much more than just one benefit of plank exercises—for something so basic, it delivers a serious impact. At Jack City Fitness, we’re huge fans of the plank. In fact, we’re so committed to plank exercise, we’ve compiled some of the biggest plank exercise benefits below for you to read.
The Biggest Benefits of Planking
1) It’s Amazing for Core Strength
Want to build a strong core? Join the club—the planking club, that is. Engaging in plank exercise is a surefire way to strengthen your abdominal and core muscles. Having a strong core can help your balance and physical stability. It also looks great!
2) It Uses More Muscles Than Similar Workouts
Many workouts target the core or abs; crunches are a famous example. While we love a good crunch, we’re team plank all the way. After all, crunches don’t activate nearly as many muscles as planks do! While they are thought of as a core exercise, properly performing and holding a plank is actually a full-body workout!
3) It’s Easier on the Back Than Similar Workouts
After this, we’re done with the crunch slander—we promise. But while crunches are a fabulous core workout, they aren’t a great choice for folks suffering from chronic back pain or injury. Planks, which don’t require the spine to press against anything, are a gentler alternative for those minding their backs.
(As a reminder, if you have chronic back difficulties or a recent injury, it’s best to check with your doctor before starting any new workouts!)
4) It’s Simple and Modifiable
Planking may pack a serious punch, but it’s nothing fancy. Although a mat makes it more comfortable, the exercise doesn’t officially require any equipment. It doesn’t involve any explosive or complicated movements, and athletes can work at a pace that suits their needs.
Furthermore, the simple nature of the plank makes it easy to modify. If a traditional plank pose feels too difficult for you, a tabletop version of the plank with bent knees might be a good option. Some beginners also prefer performing an incline plank, with their forearms or palms resting on a step or other raised surface.
5) It Can Enhance Flexibility
Think you need to practice yoga or ballet to enhance your flexibility? Think again. Planking isn’t only great for building power and strength. It also gives certain parts of your lower body, like hamstrings and toes, a nice big stretch!
6) It Can Improve Your Posture
Get out of a slump with planking! Poor posture can lead to back pain, spinal issues, and even degeneration of your joints. Better to avoid it—and planking can help with that. You’ll be developing some serious overall body strength and core power to help you stand or sit straight with ease.
Let’s Do This
So, now you know all about plank health benefits. Want to see them in real life? At Jack City Fitness, we have everything athletes need to succeed at planking, building core strength, and other fitness goals.
When you sign up to be a Jack City Partner, everything is at your fingertips: a 24/7 facility featuring all the latest fitness equipment, a rotating schedule of heart-pumping classes, and personalized support from a crew of elite coaches. We even offer customized training options, so you can enjoy trainer-supervised home workouts on your own schedule.
Ready to get started? Hit us up! You can call (208) 999-1111 any time to speak to one of our team members. We’ll invite you to our Boise facility for a FREE fitness consultation, where you can meet some of our trainers, peek into one of our classes, and see all the amenities we have on offer. Once you become a Partner, you can jump right in and start planking, running, lifting… whatever will help you meet your goals.
We can’t wait to meet you and help you see REAL results!