Are planks a good exercise for overall fitness?

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Health and fitness experts unanimously agree that Planks is one of the most beneficial forms of exercises. It involves your core muscles and helps build endurance, balance and strength. Plank or planking is called so, because when done correctly your body looks like a straight wooden plank. It’s a calisthenics exercise and doesn’t require any equipment or weights.

Now, why must we do planks every day? What are the benefits?

  1. Your core strength improves– No other exercise is as effective in developing core muscles and strength as planks. Planks test the strength of your biceps, neck and shoulder. When you hold a plank position, your arm muscles get toned and developed. Additionally, they also work on your thighs and pelvic muscles, making it a strength-building exercise for complete body.
  2. Minimizes the of risk back and spine injuries– Planks is a great way to help build muscles in your back and spine because they do so without exerting any pressure on these areas. The muscles in your back become stronger and less prone to injuries and back pain.
  3. Your posture improves– Why is good posture important? Because, it ensures correct alignment of your bones and joints, which means your bones and joints remain healthy and strong. And planks, when done regularly, can play a significant role in maintaining your joints and bone health.
  4. You develop flexibility and balance– When you’re in a plank position, muscles around your shoulders and collarbone, and shoulder blades expand and stretch, as do your hamstrings and arches of your feet, increasing their strength, which in turn gives you more flexibility and balance with time.
  5. Boosts your mood– Planking is essentially stretching your stiff and tight muscles. Therefore, after planks, you feel loosening of your muscles, which relaxes your body and mind.

There are multiple ways of doing planks—Forearm plank, straight-arm plank, side plank, plank with lifted one arm/leg, and so many others. If you’ve never done planks before, you might experience a slight difficulty holding your body in the plank position. But, do not give up. It gets better and easier with time. Start holding your planks for as long as you can, slightly increasing the time every day. You will start to love it!

Additional reads and references:
https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20813896,00.html#side-plank-with-inner-thigh-raise
https://www.lifehack.org/292578/7-things-that-will-happen-when-you-do-planking-exercise-every-day
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=60&v=pSHjTRCQxIw
https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/plank-exercise-benefits#1

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