Planks? or Perfect Planks?? Yes, strong core muscles are goals. Like really, they will make most physical activities easier for you. They are also of much significance to athletes or players as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance, and injuries. Weak core muscles can also leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain, and muscle injuries.
However, not just athletes, but everyone needs to have a strong core. A strong core will award you with a perfect posture and a free basket full of confidence !! Motivated enough to get stronger core muscles? Here’s the answer- Planks. Planks are one of the best workouts for building a stronger and more muscular core which will help you to increase the core strength and improve your body posture.
Most people are familiar with planks as they can be done at any place and don’t require any equipment or a lot of space, unlike other exercises. Yet, it is not very well known that these have different variations and there are rules for it. If the body posture isn’t right while doing it you will just reduce its effectiveness and won’t get the desirable results. Don’t worry, we have got you covered! Here is your complete guide to planks and some tips to make them more effective!
Types of Planks
1. Standard plank
2. Forearm plank
3. Knee plank
4. Side plank
5. Single leg plank
Let’s read in detail on how to do it.
1. Standard Plank
- Place your hands directly under the shoulder like you are about to do a push-up. Make sure the
- arms are not directly under your shoulders. The gap between them should be a bit wider than your shoulder width.
- Try to stabilize your body using the glutes.
- Make sure your chest is not bulging inward and you keep your chest straight and have an erect body posture
- Hold your spot as long as you can, if it’s difficult to hold for even a minute try to fix a target like a minute or 100 secs and try to attain the target.
Also read: 5 Most Common Workout Mistakes
Pro tip: It is a common misconception that you need to place your head in such a way that you look at the ground but looking towards the front and keeping your head up is the best way.
2. Forearm Plank
This is the most common plank technique people use. Thankfully, it is also a bit easier than the previous one!
- In this, you have to place your forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width.
- Initially, use your glutes to hold your position.
- Try to hold it for a certain time. Since it is easier than the previous one, you can easily hold it in for at least a minute or more.
3. Knee Plank
This is the easiest one and generally best for beginners. It is almost the same as the standard one but your knees should be in touch with the ground. Resting your knees on the ground puts less stress on your lower back and makes this the easiest version of planks.
4. Side Plank
This is for the intermediates since it is tougher than all the previous versions you just read about. Firstly, lie on your side with one leg on top of the other and then push your body up on your hand or elbow while keeping your feet stacked at a fixed point. When you are experienced enough, you can raise the bar by raising the top hand or leg or maybe both depending on your ability to do so.
5. Single-Leg Plank
This is almost the same as the forearm one, the only difference being that you need to keep a leg up in the air. Though that can be tough enough, it will benefit you more since it puts more pressure on the core muscles.
Some Common Mistakes To Avoid
Do not collapse your back and make a bad posture since it decreases the pressure on the core, decreasing its overall effectiveness of it. Don’t raise your butt too much and keep your body posture erect. Make sure you keep breathing while doing it else you won’t be able to hold your spot for a long time. Always set a time that seems impossible for you. This will help you to bring out your full potential. Wear proper clothing and be regular for the best results.
Last but not least, do NOT focus too much on the stopwatch. It distracts you and can even make your posture improper.
Also Read; How Many Calories Are Burned in a Plank?