It is widely accepted in training circles that doing a plank every day is perhaps one of the best things you can do for yourself. This is because a plank strengthens your core muscles, reduces the risk of back injury, strengthens the muscles around your spine and improves your balance. Worthy goals if any. The classic plank is done by leaning on your toes and elbows while your body is above the ground and maintaining a straight body position. This done right, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the core muscles of your body. Remember not to hold your breath. There are several variations to this exercise that help you improve the outcomes.
Straight Arm in this plank exercise, you lean on your toes and on one hand and keep one hand absolutely straight. Try and hold this position for up to 2 minutes or alternate after 1 minute.
Rolling plank in which you begin in the classic position and then lift the elbow forward and then alternate with the other elbow. Keep your back straight while you do this.
Walking plank in which you start with the classic position and then slowly extend your hands till your weight is on your palm. This is done as if you are trying to walk forward. You can repeat the walking forward 10 times and do it up to 3 times.
Flexed plank in which you start with your elbows on the ground and then lift your weight above the ground such that your elbows are no longer touching the ground.
Wide plank in which you start with your legs and arms aligned and then slowly widen your arms and legs taking them further apart till you can.
Side plank in which you lean on one hand only and are on your side instead of stomach down. The weight is on one shoulder and your legs are closely bunched together.
Remember, fitness gurus swear by a plank and the statement “a plank a day….” is as good as any.