Planking & The Big 3 For Core Strength and Stronger Back
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The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time. The plank is commonly practiced in pilates , yoga, boxing and other sports. There are essentially two different forms of plank. The most common plank is the front plank, which is held in a push-up like position, with the body’s weight on forearms, elbows, and toes. Many variations of the front plank, such as the side plank and the reverse plank, exist. There is also the “Extended Plank“, adding substantial difficulty to the standard front plank exercise. The extended plank begins in the push-up position and reaches their arms/hands as far forward as possible.
- Primary muscles: erector spinae, rectus abdominis (abs), and transverse abdominus.
- Secondary muscles (synergists/segmental stabilizers): trapezius (traps), rhomboids, rotator cuff, the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles (delts), pectorals (pecs), serratus anterior, gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and gastrocnemius.
Muscles involved in the side plank include:
- Primary: transversus abdominis muscle, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles (abductors), the adductor muscles of the hip, and the external, and internal obliques.
- Secondary: gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and hamstrings.
Why daily Planking is highly recommended:
- Planking can improve one’s core strength.
- Planking can help one to have a flat stomach by engaging 100% of one’s abdominal muscles.
- Planking can make one’s back stronger, strengthening one’s back muscles without straining the spinal column.
- Planking can improve one’s posture and balance, increasing ability to sit and stand straighter without difficulty.
- Planking can improve one’s flexibility and offset the natural loss of muscle elasticity as one gets older.
- Planking can boost one’s metabolism and burn fat more effectively.
Recently a former spine researcher and a professor of spine biomechanics from University of Waterloo for 30 years, Dr. Stuart McGill, said that there is no utility in holding the plank for longer than 10 seconds. He also commented that people should focus on holding the position for shorter intervals and for more reps, “Basically holding repeated holds of 10 seconds is best for the average person,” he said.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the author, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. In addition, the information and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Windermere Sun. Windermere Sun acknowledges occasional differences in opinion and welcomes the exchange of different viewpoints. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.
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