We’re Talking About Planking
While crunches are arguably the most common abdominal exercise, they may not be the most effective to strengthen and build muscle. Core training is about more than having a beach-ready body. When it comes to core exercises, all the buzz is about planking.
Planking is an example of an “isometric” exercise. That means it’s an exercise wherein the body is not moving. You maintain a position similar to a push-up, but usually have the elbow and entire forearm on the ground. Have you ever done a planking exercise? The simple act of planking isn’t very hard to pull off, but holding the position is a completely different story. Give it a try and see how long you can hold that position. Holding it for sixty seconds is ideal, but a lot of people have to work up to that. It’s more work that you would think at first glance.
Planks can help improve posture: This is accomplished by helping to strengthen the back, chest, shoulders, neck, and core muscles. Muscle weakness is a contributing component to poor posture.
Planks can help improve flexibility: Believe it or not, planking is a good way to stretch out the lower half of the body.
Planks can work out the whole body: This makes them a great way to be time-efficient while working out.
Planking can be modified to suit specific needs and to work out and focus on different areas.
Don’t settle for a six-pack when you can strengthen your body’s entire core.
Gottschall JS, Mills J, Hastings B. Integration core exercises elicit greater muscle activation than isolation exercises. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2013 Mar 1;27(3):590-6.