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Last Updated on February 3, 2021

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion.

Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

If you’re also looking for more simple workouts you can do at home, don’t miss this Free Home Workout Plan.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also, they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However, for them to be most effective, you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

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One exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

7 Things that happen when you start doing planks every day

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    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

    Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

    Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

    3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

    Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

    4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

    Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

    A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

    A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

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    On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

    5. You’ll improve overall balance

    Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

    6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

    Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

    7. You’ll witness mental benefits

    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

    How to hold a plank position

    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

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      How to improve your plank time gradually

      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

      It’s all about hacking your body by building a lasting habit like this.

      Who should be cautious doing the plank?

      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

      • Prolapse
      • After prolapse surgery
      • Pelvic pain conditions
      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
      • Previous childbirth
      • Overweight

      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

      If you want a little more guidance on doing exercises properly so as to reach your fitness goal sooner, try the Busy Yet Fit Programme at Lifehack.

      More Home Workout Exercises To Try

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      Szabo Laszlo

      Content Marketer and Fitness Enthusiast

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      Last Updated on March 3, 2021

      10 Workout Tips for Building Muscle the Right Way

      10 Workout Tips for Building Muscle the Right Way

      Building muscle is one of the best ways to help you feel better about your appearance, but it’s also a great way to improve your physical efficiency, stabilize your bones and joints, and reduce risk of injury in everyday life. However, most people aren’t sure how to go about building muscle in the best way.

      By carefully selecting the time of your workout, the combination of techniques, and the proper post-workout snacks, you can maximize your workout to build strength and muscle. Here are the essential tips you need to know.

      1. Work out at the Right Time of Day

      The time of day when you choose to work out can make all the difference when it comes to working out to your maximum potential. Anthony Hackney, a professor in the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, says that working out in the morning is best for weight loss due to the body’s hormonal composition at that time. If you really want to lose fat, exercise on an empty stomach[1].

      Now, if your goal is to build muscle, you’ll want to eat something first. This means that an afternoon or evening workout can serve you better as your body will have the necessary nutrients to perform well during a workout.

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      Ultimately, the best time to work out is the time of day that fits into your schedule. Not everyone has the luxury of working out in the morning or right after work. If you’re able to stick to a schedule, it will help you on your journey to building muscle.

      If you need help just getting started and finding motivation to get to the gym, check out Lifehack’s Ultimate Worksheet for Instant Motivation Boost.

      2. Weights Before Cardio

      If your goal is to lose weight or build muscle mass, strength training should come first, according to researchers. Furthermore, studies have shown that “Moderate- to high-intensity endurance training decreases the efficacy of strength training.” Therefore, if you’re going to train for a marathon, do so after you lift weights.[2]

      3. Eat Often (and More)

      Keep your energy up and give your body plenty of fuel for building muscle by eating small meals every three hours or so. Make sure to eat plenty of protein, ideally the equivalent amount of protein in grams as your current body weight in pounds. For example, a 150-pound man would aim to take in 150 grams of protein per day.

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      When trying to build muscle, aim to eat 250 to 500 calories more than you normally would, but don’t go too far beyond that. Your body may store the extra calories as body fat if it doesn’t use them during or after the workout.

      4. Eat a Snack After You Work out

      After a workout, your body will need a good dose of protein and amino acids in order to aid in muscle growth and recovery. This is essential to building muscle, as without the recovery, you can open yourself up to muscle strain and injury.

      You should aim to eat this high-protein snack within about 60 minutes of ending your workout. This will help the muscles absorb the nutrients when they need them. Try yogurt, cottage cheese, chocolate milk, nuts, or a protein shake as a great post-workout snack.

      5. Stay Hydrated

      The last thing you need complicating your workout is a cramp or fatigue, so drinking water before, during, and after your workout for best results. This will also aid in the recovery process as the muscles will use water to heal.

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      6. Never Skip the Warm up or Cool Down

      Stretching prevents muscle strain, helps blood more easily reach the joints and muscles, and can help lower cholesterol when done as part of a yoga or Pilates routine. Muscles also need to realign themselves after an intense workout, which a few minutes of stretching can help to accomplish.

      7. Combine Compound and Isolate Movements

      While isolating certain muscles is important, you need to alternate compound motions as well, which will target multiple muscle groups at once. Compound workouts are good for beginners and for toning certain parts of the body. They’ll also burn more calories and increase your mobility.

      Compound movements include squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups. These target several muscles groups at once. If you find that one muscle group is weaker than the rest, you can incorporate isolate movements to build it up.

      8. Gradually Increase Your Weights

      Increase the weight you’re lifting on each exercise by about 5 percent each week. If you bench-pressed 100 pounds this week, for example, then next week you should try doing 105 pounds. This gradual increase will yield the best muscle building results without overly straining your body.

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      9. Budget the Correct Amount of Time for Your Workout

      Studies have found that working out a muscle group two times a week is the best way to start building muscle more quickly. You will certainly see some results by only working a muscle group once a week, but try twice to give yourself a boost.

      Also, you don’t need to spend two hours in the gym each time you go. 20 to 30 minutes of weight lifting and strength training will help you see results and increase your muscle mass. If you go to the gym for an hour, try varying your workout a bit in order to avoid overworking a certain muscle group.

      10. Look in the Mirror

      Try to do all of your weight lifting in front of a mirror. That way, you can correct your posture and make sure you are fully extending your muscles. Correct form means means maximized results.

      This will likely feel strange at first, especially if you feel self conscious at the gym. However, know that this is normal and what many seasoned weight lifters do to ensure proper form.

      The Bottom Line

      Building muscle is a worthy goal to have as it will ultimately improve your everyday life from the ground up. You’ll find that everyday tasks become easier and that you have more energy for both your workouts and personal life. Use the tips above to start building muscle today.

      More on Building Muscle

      Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

      Reference

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