Planks are an understated exercise. It’s easy to write them off as an easy or supplementary exercise. But for WWE wrestler Jay Reso and creator of PurePlank, it was a fundamental part of getting back into shape.
As a retired professional wrestler, he didn’t get as much exercise and training as he once did for his job. One day, he realized the difference his lifestyle change had made on his quality of life. He noticed himself getting winded climbing a flight of stairs. As he was putting his girls to bed that night, he resolved to make a change in his daily routine to live a long and healthy life with his kids. So, he turned to planking.
He started with smaller steps and worked up to a three-minute daily plank. As his goals changed, he realized that his body was changing, too. He didn’t feel winded going upstairs anymore. He hurt less. He was less flexible. He was able to get active with his kids, which he and his kids both loved.
His experience isn’t out of the ordinary: planking exercises have known benefits, and even a little each day can positively impact anyone.
Plank Exercises Provide A Foundation For Athletic Performance
Cardio is a valuable type of exercise, but it isn’t the only type of exercise that makes an impact on the body. In fact, without the proper muscle conditioning, meeting cardiovascular goals can be challenging. Specifically, strong core muscles provide a foundation for athletic performance.
Runners, for example, train their core to optimize their movements and lessen the risk of injury. A strong core means less stress on certain joints like the knees and ankles. Strong core muscles also ensure that a runner’s balance is optimal during their circuit, which means a lesser chance of rolling an ankle, tripping, or pulling a muscle while running.
Planks Boost Your Mental Health As Well As Your Physical Health
Cardiovascular exercises are beloved by mental health advocates because they trigger the release of endorphins within the human brain. Endorphins are chemicals produced in the brain designed to increase pleasure and lessen stress and pain in the body. Your body releases endorphins when doing pleasurable activities, like getting a hug or drinking a sip of your favorite drink. They are also released after exercise, which is why health professionals recommend physical activity as part of a balanced mental health routine.
Planking Works Out More Than Just Your Abs
Planking exercises are often referred to as core training, and when beginners think of “core training,” they tend to think of the abdomen.
Unlike crunches and situps, planking is a complete core exercise. It works out the transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique muscles, as well as the gluteus maximus. Consistent planking leads to stronger abdominal muscles, leg muscles, and posterior muscles. Stronger muscles in these areas lead to increased performance in other athletic activities, which can help burn fat more efficiently.
Planks Prevent Long-Term Chronic Pain
As the human body ages and muscles deteriorate, we may experience pain that causes us to shy away from physical activity. Unfortunately, increased pain due to age and less physical activity can actually cause and even worsen chronic pain. That’s why health professionals urge us to stay on top of our physical activity while we are young.
Planking engages the muscles we depend upon most, keeping them strong and conditioning them to deal with the physical impact of aging. Specifically, plank exercises strengthen the muscles around the spine, which helps prevent back issues. This is important since as many as 16 million adults experience chronic back pain.
Plank Exercises Boost Metabolism
If you’ve found it hard to get rid of that holiday weight despite doing a HIIT workout every day, it might be because you’re not working out your muscles enough.
The higher percentage of muscle within your body, the higher your metabolic rate. Muscles require more energy to burn than fat, so increasing your muscle mass can increase your resting metabolic rate. Everyone’s metabolism is different, so this may not always look like shedding pounds effortlessly. People may notice a more active metabolism through mood improvement, sleep improvement, and lower blood pressure.
Planking Improves Posture
Posture. Hearing the word might make you immediately roll your shoulders back and straighten up in your chair.
It can be tough to maintain a healthy posture if you have a desk job or physically demanding labor job. Additionally, your posture can be influenced by things like your self-confidence and self-esteem. Poor posture can lead to chronic back and neck pain, among other health issues. Because planks require you to work out your back and abdominal muscles, you end up naturally engaging them more often – leading to better posture.
Planking Is Modifiable
Planks are truly one of the best beginner exercises a person can do. Not only do they build foundational muscle strength, but they can be done in short amounts of time that have significant impacts. Working in a 45-minute cardio routine every day might seem daunting to someone who has never worked out in their life. But 30 seconds 6 times a day? That efficiently works into anyone’s day.
Even better? A modified plank still has benefits: meaning if 30 seconds seems out-of-the-question, you can do 10 seconds 6 times a day and work up from there. You may do planks on your side, on your knees, with extended forearms, or on your elbows. A modifiable exercise leaves room for goals, making it accessible to beginners and endlessly challenging for professionals.
Planking Is An Easy Way To Engage Your Core
Doing a plank may not be as easy as hanging out on the couch, but it can be done while doing several other relaxing activities. It might be hard to do crunches and Russian twists while watching the latest episode of your favorite show, but it’s easy to do a plank during it – and it sometimes distracts you from the fatigue that might have you giving up on your goals.
Ready to begin your planking routine with the help of experts? Head over to PurePlank to get started.