Planks: Exercise at its core

 
Carmen “games her core” on the Stealth Plankster, which acts as a giant joystick for iPhone games. It adds the element of balance to traditional planks.

Carmen “games her core” on the Stealth Plankster, which acts as a giant joystick for iPhone games. It adds the element of balance to traditional planks.

 
 

Planks: Exercise at its core

Crossfit, functional training and bodyweight exercises are the rage in today’s world of fitness. They are becoming go-to exercises for many people because of their practicality and efficiency.

These exercises use little or no equipment — kettlebells, sandbags, ropes, chains and dumbbells are acceptable — but one of the best exercises uses nothing but maybe a padded mat. We’re talking about the plank.

Planks come in many varieties and has become king of bodyweight exercises for strengthening your core and engaging many muscle groups at the same time. The benefits of planking are amazing — they involved increased flexibility, improved posture, improved balance and a stronger, flatter and more defined abdominal area.

Planking forces a person to target inner ab muscles. Because planks activate around 29 core muscles — the number varies with different planking styles — it helps to preserve muscle mass while cutting back on calories, boosting the metabolism rather than slowing it down because of muscle loss. The end result is a leaner, stronger, healthier body.

One of the most common exercises recommended for reducing and eliminating back pain is the plank. It’s safe, it can be modified by planking on your knees, and it is progressing, allowing a person to increase their intensity as they grow stronger.

Planking strengthens the core, and helps align the spine. The exercise strengthens the entire back, including muscles not used in a sedentary lifestyle.

Performing a plank helps boost your mood, stretches tension areas that get stiff during prolonged sitting and improves blood flow.

Planks can dramatically improve the quality of your life in just one to three minutes a day.

A variety of planking exercises are routinely included in circuit training at Choices Fitness Studio. For additional information, call David at (254) 541-7710.

 
 
David Stone