Home » Fitness » Plank benefits and Plank Variations

Many people say oh, no, plank!!! But do you really stop to think how plank is good for you?

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Plus how happy you will feel when you start feeling its benefits and holding it for longer?

So stop complaining and give it a go.

If you have back problems, is one of the reason’s why you should do it! The plank helps you to reduce pain and to straighten your back.

By doing this exercise you will strengthen your midsection, your upper and lower body muscles, such as the pectoralis, deltoids, all the external and internal abdominals as the obliques and the psoas major and minor, the latissimus dorsi, quadratus lumborum, multifidus, gluteals all the of the legs muscles.

If you would like to know a bit more about human anatomy click here.

Plus by strengthening your core you will improve your balance, posture and coordination so come on give it a go!

Plank:

In a prone position, and pushing your toes against the floor, keep your elbows on the floor and aligned with your shoulders, lift your body off the floor for 30 seconds and repeat it for three sets, then increase it for 60 seconds and so on.

You can also place your hands on the floor keeping the alignment from your wrists to your shoulders.

Make sure that your body is on a straight line and that your pelvis is not too high or too low and neither tucked in or tilting out.

Side plank:

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As you can see by the image this plank variation will mainly work the obliques and the transverse abdominus, core wise and the legs muscles such as the vastus lateralis or rectus femoris.

The side plank will also help you to increase the strength in your arms as you are also working your deltoids and trapezius.

In fact it is a full body work out.

In a side position place your feet together and your elbow aligned with your shoulder, lift your body off the floor keeping it straight for 30 seconds and repeat it for three sets, then increase it for 60 seconds and so on.

Change side.

In exercise you need to be always challenging yourself in order to get results, so you can always increase the time or the number of sets, also another variation to this exercise it is to do it with the hand on the floor but make sure you keep your arm straight without locking the elbow.

Plank with Jacks:

For this one you will combine jumping jacks with plank, here it is another plank variation!

In a regular plank position which is prone, start doing the plank but instead of just holding this position, you will open and bring the legs together as in the jumping jacks.

You can do this either working with time or with number of repetitions, I recommend you to start with 30 seconds or 15 repetitions for three sets and when you start to feel that you can increase it do it gradually.

You can also do this plank bringing the knees to elbows working even harder the obliques, instead of the jacks.

Upward Plank:

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For this plank variation, facing up as you can see on the image, keeping your wrists in line with your shoulders lift your bottex off the floor keeping your legs straight, it stretches your chest and shoulders and it strengthens your wrists and arms, your core all the abdominal area such as the rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, obliques and the hamstrings group, the gluteals and the gastrocnemius.

You can change this position by bending your knees and keeping them in line with your ankles, or you can lift one foot at a time in either position, to increase the level of difficulty.

Do this for 30 seconds and three sets and then gradually start building it up.

If you are changing legs up at a time split the time between legs.

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  1. Vivien Palmer says:

    I’ve always struggled with the plank and all these variations but it is great to see the muscles that I’m working, which has given me greater motivation to put more energy into it. Thanks

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