Why the plank is the best thing you can do this winter for your fitness routine.
Planks are great all year around but they are perfect for winter time because they can be easily practiced in-door, they help warm up the body quickly, they are time effective and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short period of time.
You don’t need any special equipment to practice plank, only your body weight.
Let’s look at the benefits of the plank a little bit more closely.
IT’S A GREAT AND SAFE CORE WORKOUT
Planks are great to strengthen and stabilise the anterior chain of the body. One of the top and most renowned benefits of doing planks regularly is that they strengthen the core, and the core is literally the main source of stability and power in our body. Successfully holding the plank position, while keeping the torso parallel to the ground, requires that you squeeze and engage all the main core muscle groups, not just the superficial abdominal muscles but most of all the deep core muscles, the Transversus Abdominis . By practicing plank regularly your abdominal muscles will tighten up and you will get rid of that extra belly fat.
IT STRENGTHENS THE BACK MUSCLES
Planks are one of the few core exercises that also strengthen the posterior chain of the body. In particular, the upper back muscles become stronger, shoulders and arms get more toned, and the lower back becomes more stable and supported. This is one of the reasons why plank exercises are often prescribed to people with low back pain.
IT’S A METABOLIC BOOSTE
If you are looking for a way to boost your metabolism but you dread the treadmill, the plank can be your great ally. That’s because strength exercises such as plank help increase your metabolic rate even after you’ve stopped exercising. Just try and hold plank for a minute or transition between high plank and low plank! It’s a killer!
IT INCREASES FLEXIBILITY
If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk you will notice that your shoulders and hamstrings are very stiff! Because of our modern lifestyle, the posterior chain has become one of the weakest and stiffest part of the body. Planks stretch the muscles around the shoulders, collarbone, shoulder blades, hamstrings, calves and even the arches of the feet and toes. A flexible and supple body is a sign of a healthy and functional body.
IT IMPROVES YOUR POSTURE AND OVERALL BALANCE
While holding plank you are working the muscles that help make holding a neutral spine possible. A neutral spine can better support the entire body so that we not compensating with only few muscle groups. Imaging being able to stand, sit and even sleep more comfortably!