The Benefits of Planking

This week I have been really interested in watching my students doing variations on the plank. Not only watching them do it, but watching each and everyone of them complain or resist doing it in some way, shape or form.

The plank is a difficult posture, hard to maintain for any length of time, and often uncomfortable on peoples limbs. However, (like most postures that people don't like) there are so many physical benefits of the plank that teachers, world wide, force their students plank time and time again! I promise we aren't just punishing you in a cruel and unusual way! :)

Of course, it is important to be mindful of your own body when doing something as demanding as a plank; if you find this to be too hard for your wrists, then by all means (like the lady in the picture is doing) come onto your forearms!

Assuming the plank posture not only targets your six-pack muscles (your rectus abdominis) but it also targets every other abdominal muscle in your body! (internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis) This is great news for those of us who want to strengthen our cores, but the benefits don't stop there.

The plank ALSO targets your pectoral muscles, your quadriceps, shins and shoulders! Now if that isn't a full body work out, I don't know what is!  

The plank is super beneficial not only because it targets all of those separate muscle groups, but more importantly, it challenges them to work in tandem, making for a well integrated, full-body muscle system.

So next time I (or any other teacher) asks you to plank, thank them for giving you the time to strengthen all those muscles in one easy (relatively speaking...) posture. :) 

Now everyone go and plank for 3 minutes!