7 Reasons to love the Plank!

Planks are disliked by many fitness-minded peeps for a number of reasons. Some find holding isometric (static) positions like planks incredibly dull and boring. Others were taught that dynamic moves like crunches were the only way to obtain those six pack abs.

The truth is that planks offer a lot of additional benefits that other abdominal exercises simply can't deliver. Here are some of the reasons why you should love – or at least tolerate – planking.

Targets more than just abs

Whether on your hands or forearms, planking forces your entire body to work against gravity. This means that not only are you targeting your abdominals, but you're also hitting other muscles in your core, your shoulders, your hips, and your legs.

The result: full-body strength and endurance boosters for beginners and professional athletes alike.

Reduced lower back pain

Planks are safe for almost anyone to do because they require very little movement while working every layer of the abdominal fascia. Because planks strengthen your core and your back muscles, you'll also reduce the amount of back pain you suffer.

Better flexibility

Another interesting benefit to planking is an increase in flexibility in your posterior muscle groups like your shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone. Even your hamstrings, toes, and feet will enjoy a good stretch, and those who do a side plank can also stretch out their sides.
Improved balance and posture

Not surprisingly, increased strength and flexibility will lead to better balance and posture. This is particularly important as we progress to more difficult exercise moves in order to maintain proper form to get the most out of our workouts and prevent injury.

Decreased injury risk

Strongly related to improved balance and posture is your decreased risk of injury while exercising as well as when performing day-to-day activities. Your muscles are stronger and will react more quickly to sudden movements and changes in balance, protecting your body from sprains, strains, and falling.

A flatter stomach

A pleasant aesthetic benefit to planking is a flatter and more toned tummy. This is because planking effectively targets those deeper inner core muscles that pull in stretched out abdominal muscles.

Keep in mind, however, that it takes more than a plank to achieve those six pack abs. It's been said before that abs are made in the kitchen, so keep a close eye on your diet and work on shedding fat for best results.

Increased mood and motivation

Any type of exercise can give you that wonderful tension release and rush of hormones that will almost instantly improve your mood. Holding your body in a solid plank – whether that be for ten seconds or five minutes – will also make you stronger mentally, giving you greater mental strength so you can power through and conquer any fitness goal you take on.

Maxine's Challenge: We go beyond the plank

Maxine's Challenge is a 12-week transformation programme that focuses not only on short-term results, but long-term gains through the power of fitness and nutrition. We provide you with the training plans, shopping lists and meal plans, expert tips, and access to an experienced and educated support network you need to help you achieve your goals.
The next challenge kicks off Monday, May 20, 2019, and we invite you to join today at www.maxineschallenge.com.au/join