Health Benefits and Side Effects of Doing the Plank Exercise
The plank is one of the best exercises for building a strong core and losing belly fat. Apart from toning your abs, this exercise can help you to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes, to improve your posture, and to enhance your balance.
While getting into this position appears to be very easy, holding a perfect form requires a great strength and endurance. This exercise is favored by almost anyone since it can be performed everywhere, it doesn’t require any equipment, it engages various muscle groups, and it improves your health in numerous ways.
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The plank is one of the most effective exercises since it targets your abs, shoulders, arms, and legs. Different variations of this exercise will target different muscles.
Apart from performing regular planks, you may also try doing side planks, rowing planks, reverse planks, and more advanced versions, such as plank crunches and plank rollouts. This exercise will help you to build muscles, burn fat, and enhance your overall strength.
Unlike many other exercises, the plank cannot put much strain on your lower back since your spine is in a neutral position. This exercise targets your entire core, which makes it beneficial for improving your posture, preventing an occurrence of back pain, increasing your athletic performance, and enhancing your balance.
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Even though the plank can provide you with various benefits, many people are dubious about performing this exercise. Some experts suggest that planking is overrated because there are better ways to train the abs, such as doing reverse crunches, butterfly crunches, or hanging leg raises. On the other hand, the plank has a lower effect on the muscle growth.
Moreover, the plank is considered to be an extremely dangerous exercise. Every year, hundreds of people who perform the plank regularly are diagnosed with costochondritis, an inflammation of the costal cartilage which connects each rib to the sternum.
Also, it is advisable that the people suffering from high blood pressure should avoid doing the plank because this is an isometric exercise which will worsen their condition.
How Effective Is the Plank Exercise?
The plank can help you to strengthen your core, tighten your mid-section, increase your muscle endurance, and shape your body. If you perform this exercise on a regular basis, you will improve both your flexibility and balance.
However, the plank needs to be accompanied by a healthy diet and a regular workout. By doing the plank alone, you wouldn’t be able to get the benefits that this exercise can offer. In order to achieve successful results, you need to combine it with other core exercises as part of your regular workout routine.