Benefits of plank exercise

You won’t believe that what a simple exercise like planks can do to your body. It can bring immense changes to your body.

Planks improve core strength, reduce the chances of back injury, make your body posture better, increase flexibility, improve balance, reduce belly fat, and improve metabolism.

Let’s see the benefits of planks and how it makes us better.

Benefits of the plank exercise

There are numerous benefits. So, without wasting time, let’s get into it.

Improves core strength

Planks bring all the abdominal muscles into play as it involves all the major core muscle groups. The group of muscles includes the transverse abdominis, the rectus abdominis, the external obliques, and the glutes. After doing it for few weeks, you will be able to see that:-

  • Your ability to lift heavier weight would increase
  • Improved sports performance, specifically in jumping
  • Your body stability and waist twisting will get better
  • You might start getting six packs abs
  • Strong buttocks

Why is core strength important?

The core is a group of muscles that control the spine and the pelvis (pelvis is a basin-shaped structure that supports the spinal column and protects the abdominal organs.) Core helps in keeping the proper body structure by promoting ease of movement.

A stable/ strong core can prevent overuse injuries (overuse injury is any muscle or joint injury, such as tendinitis or a stress fracture) and boost resiliency.

If the core is not strong/stable, it may lead to knee pain due to insufficient pelvic stabilization. Individuals develop back and neck pain that might be due to inefficient shock absorbers.

Better body structure

Along with the stability in the core, it also helps improve the body structure as our whole body comes into play. Planks enhance the spine, rhomboids, trapezius, and abdominal muscles, leading to solid posture.

The lousy body structure may lead to:-

  • It may make your spine more fragile that might make it more prone to injury.
  • Decrease your flexibility
  • It may affect the movement of your joints.
  • May affect the digestion system.
  • Can make it harder to breathe
  • It may lead to an inappropriate musculoskeletal system.
  • It may affect your body balance.

Why is good body posture important?

Good posture is the easiest way to maintain the good health of your spine. Being in any position standing or sitting if you have good alignment, then it may:-

  • It may improve blood flow.
  • Keeps nerves and blood vessels healthy
  • It supports ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
  • An individual less back and neck related problems

Increases flexibility

Flexibility is a bonus that one gets if they do planks regularly. Planks cover almost every muscle group- shoulders, shoulder blades, collarbone, hamstrings, the arches of your feet, and the toes. Many of these muscle groups get neglected during traditional exercises, which in planks get stretched and eventually grow.

If you make a few variations in the planks that we will discuss further, you can cover obliques and hip areas.

Less flexibility will lead to:-

  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle tightness
  • Lower back and neck pain
  • Poor flexibility is also associated with arterial stiffening(the process in which the heart pumps blood, and stiffness makes it difficult)

Why is flexibility necessary for the body?

Flexibility plays a crucial role in our day-to-day activities. It increases your range of motion which makes it easier for you to perform daily tasks as it:-

  • Improves mobility
  • It makes the posture better
  • Enhances the muscle coordination
  • Reduces the chances of injuries
  • Flexibility leads to overall better body shape

Stretching before a workout can improve the blood flow in the body.

Planks improve body balance

You must have noticed when you try to balance your body on one leg; you struggle a lot; the reason behind this is your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are not strong enough to give you the balance you need.

People assume that planks have a relation with legs, they do have up to an extent, but majorly it has to do with the core. Balance has a connection with your core which keeps it stable and upright.

Planks also build the endurance of the muscle groups. Hence, you can maintain balance in physically exhausting situations for a more extended period.

Symptoms of loss of balance:-

  • An individual might feel that they are moving even when they are standing still
  • An individual might feel unsteady on their feet
  • One might feel that the space around them is spinning
  • They might feel confused or disorientated

How planks improve body balance?

In planks, our back and abdominal muscle begin to strengthen and tighten; with time, our posture begins to improve. Moreover, adding some planks, like side planks, can be a cherry on the cake. It will improve your balance, posture and stand far less effortless.

Reduces belly fat

Many people have a goal to reduce belly fat as big belly fat is just like keeping a bomb that will explode within us, spreading diseases and problems. Losing fat can save us from many uncertainties in the future.

Reasons for belly fat:-

  • Sugary foods and beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Menopause
  • Low-protein diet
  • Processed food
  • Inactivity and the list goes on and on

How planks reduce belly-fat?

Plank is an excellent exercise for belly fat as it involves many muscle groups throughout our body, including belly muscles, which help burn even from the lower abdomen.

Weight Calories Burned
110lbs2 calories/ minute
150lbs3-4 calories/minute
175lbs or more4-5 calories/minute
Calories burnt per minute in basic planks

Apart from weight, metabolic rate and muscle to fat ratio play a vital role. Changing the type of planks from basic to advance might increase the calorie burn rate.


As per experts, to lose belly fat, one should hold the plank for 60 seconds at least thrice. The motive behind 60seconds is to hold the plank perfectly as beyond that can be challenging to hold. And to maximize results, make sure that that your body falls in a straight line.

Why is flat belly important?

Everyone wants a flat belly to look good, but apart from the looks, there are many more benefits of a flat stomach:-

  1. It saves you from Metabolic Syndrome (a group that identifies whether you are at risk or not of developing heart problems, diabetes, and strokes).
  2. A fat belly does not impact your heart instead helps to keep it healthy.
  3. Big belly leads to a certain type of cancer.
  4. Big belly leads to asthma as well, from which you get saved.

Improves metabolism

It is really important to have good metabolism as it helps flush out toxins from our body, improves blood circulation, helps you lose weight, improves immunity, etc.

Reasons for low metabolic rate:-

  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Toxins in the body
  • Lack of nutritional food

How planks improve metabolism?

Improved metabolism can be connected with higher calorie burn and enhanced muscle strength. Strong muscles mean that body would burn more calories, be it any activity. And you will consume more healthy food which will make you healthier and muscles stronger. Eventually, which will help in improving metabolism.

Why is a good metabolic rate important?

The key benefits behind good metabolic rate are:-

  1. Flushes out the toxins from the body
  2. It improves blood circulation.
  3. You will feed well as it supports the functioning of the nervous system.
  4. It helps in losing weight.
  5. Improves immunity

Mistakes while performing planks

Maximize the output of planks by avoiding the following common mistakes:-

  1. Ensure that you do not make an arch with your arms as that would shift the abdominal’s focus on arms. Hence, make sure that you keep your shoulders down and wide.
  2. Try to keep your feet a bit far in case your hips are sagging. Hips start sagging when our abs have reached their limit and can not take any further. So, they will start sinking.
  3. Do not tilt or raise your neck as that might strain your neck.

Conclusion

Plank is a great way to keep yourself in shape if you do it properly and regularly. In case if you are facing any health condition, then you may consider consulting a doctor.