Having a strong core can impact your daily life a lot. It helps shield against injury, it can improve holding the right body posture by improving your back, and can improve you knee and back pain as well.
Core exercises are great because most of them do not require any equipment and can be performed anywhere. One of the most efficient core exercises is the plank.
Plank is a static exercise, which means you have to put your body in one position, and not move. It may look very simple and easy for a beginner, but once you try it, you will definitely change your mind. In fact, a beginner can barely hold the position for 20 seconds if they have not tried it before.
How to do a Right Plank
As every exercise, the plank has to be done in the right way so it can have an effect. In order to do a plank you need to start by getting into a press up position.
Then, bend your elbows in the way that the weight of your whole body is on your forearms and not on your hands. The elbows should be in line with the shoulders and the arms parallel to the body at a shoulder-width distance.
Your body should be in a perfect straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Suck your stomach into your spine so that you can engage your core. Hold that position for some time.
What can you do Wrong while Planking
To do the exercise in the right way you should be careful about several things. Firstly, make sure your lower back is not collapsed.
That can be avoided by pulling your belly button in towards the spine. Your torso will be flat and you will save your spine from injuries.
Next, your butt needs to be in line with the torso as well. Do not push it upwards, nor too far towards the ground. Find the position where your abdominal muscles are mostly engaged.
Moreover, you should keep your eyes on the floor, which will keep your neck in a neutral position so you won’t hurt it. And most importantly do not forget to breathe.
Which Body Parts are Engaged
This simple, but effective exercise helps you build strength in your core, arms, shoulders and glutes. It connects the upper and lower body as you stay stiff in that position.
The exercise requires no equipment and it can be done anywhere you want. There are many variations of it like the side plank, back plank, single-leg plank and many others. Start with the basics and you will learn the rest.
The 4 Weeks Plank Challenge
For starters, if you want to work on your core you can do the Plank Challenge. It is great you challenge yourself so you will be driven by the desire to reach the goal.
That will make you stay motivated when there are days when you do not want to exercise. Moreover, if you are persistent and you progress, you will slowly start to see improvement which will motivate you even more.
You only need to be patient and stay positive.
This challenge takes four weeks to be completed, and during that time you stay in the plank position for an assigned amount of time which increases every day.
The challenge begins by holding the plank for 20 seconds and as the weeks go by, you should be able to reach up to four minutes without taking breaks.
The challenge is designed in a way that you slowly build you core muscles until the muscle mass increases enough so that you will be able to endure bigger challenges.
Build Strong ABS