The Power of the Plank

The Power of the Plank

If you only had a few minutes a day to workout and only wanted to do one exercise what would you do? The answer is simple: the plank exercise and for good reason.

The plank exercise is one of the few exercises that engage most of your major core muscles all at the same time.

Here are 7 Reasons to Plank Daily

1. Prevent Low Back Pain

There is nothing worse than back pain, especially lower back pain which often leads to leg pain and the inability to enjoy an active life. However, unlike doing crunches and sit-ups, planks require very little movement thus reducing the chance of injury. Planks strengthen your inner core which can help reduce or even eliminate back pain.

2. You Will Burn More Calories all Day Long

When you plank daily you fire up the major muscles of your body sending a powerful message to your brain that those muscles are in use and needed. This simple daily habit triggers your body to build and maintain lean muscle mass which leads to a higher metabolism. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn all day long.  

3. Build Yourself a SuperHero Posture and Confidence

Did your mother ever tell you to stand up straight? Or tell you to stop slouching?

Well, it turns out that having a good posture may boost your self-confidence when you get in the power pose. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard researcher and social psychologist, proved that the way we hold our bodies can have an impact on our minds and body chemistry.  In other words, by standing like Superman or Wonder Women for just a few minutes you increase your confidence and project to others a more powerful person. Her study actually showed an increase in the fat burning hormone testosterone and a decrease in the fat storing hormone Cortisol from just a few minutes of holding the power pose which is basically a vertical plank.  To power up your superhero pose...plank daily.

4. Flatten Your Belly Naturally

When in the plank position gravity requires you to contract your inner ab muscles

(Transverse abdominis) to hold your organs in. If done on a daily basis you strengthen those muscles which lead to a flatter firmer midsection. Planks are one of the few exercises that target your inner abs making it perfect for new moms wanting to get their pre-baby belly back fast.

5.  Reduce Your Risk of Falling

We all know that planking daily builds core strength but did you know it may also prevent you from falling and breaking bones? Several studies have now proved that seniors who focus on building core strength have better balance and improved reaction time. Planking daily keeps your core muscles activated and alert so that you can quickly regain your balance the next time you stub your toe on an uneven sidewalk or slip on a patch of ice.

6. You Can Prevent Sitting Disease

Did you know that sitting for more than six hours a day may actually have the same risk of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day? The good news is you can STOP this deadly disease by moving and using your major muscles throughout the day. Never sit more than one hour, get up and walk, stand and if at all possible take 1-minute PLANK break to restore your back, wake up your body, and tell your brain that you are alive, active and ready to enjoy a long healthy life.

7. Improve Your Focus and Will Power

Despite all the good reasons to plank daily most people don’t. Do you know why?  Planks are hard and boring at the same time. Not only do you have to focus on contracting over 29 muscles you also have to mentally push yourself to stay in a static position for 1-3 minutes. That’s not easy.  

However, we all know that the most rewarding things in life take effort and the good news is once you make planking daily a habit you will have increased your ability to focus and complete those tasks you hate to do.

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