‘Lay flat and hold myself up with my arms, you say? I could do that, like forever, man!’
At first glance, the humble plank seems quite simple and easy. But once you actually try it, you realize just how quickly every muscle in your body can be made to feel as though it’s on fire.
Why would anyone willingly subject themselves to that? Because planking is awesome, that’s why. Here are 5 cool things that happen when you do it every day.
#1 – Your mood will improve.
Just about every exercise boosts your mood. Planking, though, takes things a step further. You see, it stretches out muscles that contribute to stress and tension. These include muscles in your thighs and stomach that tend to get tight when you spend several hours a day sitting.
It’s like a workout and massage in one.
#2 – Your posture will radiate confidence.
Planks exercise all the muscles necessary for proper posture. That includes your back, chest, shoulders, neck and abs. With time and repeated planking, you’ll find that those muscles are better able to support your upper body and keep it aligned.
#3 – You’ll boost your metabolism.
Metabolism speed is one of the single most important weight loss factors. A sluggish metabolism means your body will have a hard time converting food to energy. Thankfully, the opposite is also true; supercharge that bad boy and those fat stores won’t stand a chance.
Planking daily is a great way to achieve said supercharging. It’s all in the muscle building; strength training (as opposed to cardio like walking) naturally increases your metabolic rate. This effect continues even after you’ve finished working out.
#4 – Your back will thank you.
Researchers estimate that 80% of the U.S. population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. You can potentially leave yourself out of that number by planking. Remember, planking (and all core exercises) strengthens muscles in your whole body – including your back.
If you’ve got existing back pain, planking can also help alleviate that. Just be sure to check in with a doctor to make sure your back pain isn’t caused by something that planking could make worse.
#5 – Imbalance-Be-Gone
Do you have a tough time maintaining your balance on a bike or even when walking? To the plank, my friend. Not the pirate ship kind, though; if you’ve got poor balance you’ll want to stay clear of that.
Planking increases flexibility in your toes and the arches of your feet. This helps you maintain proper footing.