When it comes to straightening your core the simplest and shortest movements can lead to fascinating results. This one exercise, called the Plank, does not require any movement, yet it activates the whole front of the body. By doing it 5 minutes a day you will strengthen your muscles and you will lose weight.

All you need to do to get in the plank position is hold your body off the ground in a straight line. It may look pretty easy and you may think that it is not efficient if you have never done it before. However, once you try it for the first time you might not even be able to hold the position for 30 seconds. To hold this position your abdominal muscles, your back, and your core should be strong and able to endure.

The plank is not only beneficial for the core, but also for the glutes and the hamstrings. By doing planks you will have a proper body posture and improve your balance.

Best Exercise to Lose Weight – Plank

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To perform a basic plank lay on the floor on your stomach and lift your upper body with the elbows placed directly under your shoulders, your wrists placed in line with your elbows, and your lower body with your toes.

Then, push up placing your whole body in a flat position. Stay in this position by simultaneously contracting your abs and squeezing your gluteal, while breathing normally all the time. You can hold the plank for 20 to 30 minutes. Rest for a minute and repeat the exercise 3-5 more times.

The plank activates you whole upper and lower body including the following muscles: abdominals, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, neck, lower back, glutes, thighs, and calves.

You can also perform variations of the plank if you want to pay attention to other muscles in your body. Side plank for instance is very good for your oblique muscles and it stabilizes your spine. To do a side plank lay on the right side and lift your hips and knees upon the right forearm, while keeping your body in a diagonal line.

The reverse plank activates your hamstrings, your glutes, lower back, and abs. You need to sit down with your legs straight, and lean backwards to lift your whole body with your forearms. Again try to keep a straight line so it can have an effect.

What Can You Do Wrong While Planking

In order for this exercise to be effective, it is crucial you do it the right way. One way you can make a mistake is by overdoing it. You should hold the plank position enough time to strengthen the muscles, but if you feel any pain while doing the exercise it may lead to an injury. Be careful if you have any back pain or previous injury. It can make additional complications.

  • If you are a beginner, hold the position for a shorter time, and slowly work your way up.
  • Do not place your hands too close, you will not be stable.
  • Breathe normally, do not hold your breath.
  • Do not allow your hips, your shoulders, or your head to drop.

If you hold the position in the right way for a shorter period of time, i.e. as much as you can endure, it will have more effect, than making some of these mistakes and continue holding the plank. It will not have an effect on your muscles, and you may even hurt yourself.

What Benefits Does Planking Have

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1. Toned Abdominal Muscles

You will get closer and closer to the six-packs you wish you have for so long. Your abs will be stronger, and the middle section will be tighter.

2. You Will Improve Your Posture and Have More Balance

While doing a plank you must concentrate on the proper posture on the body and its balance. The plank engages all the muscles that are needed for a proper body posture. Those are your back, your shoulders, your chest, your abs, and your neck. If you practice doing them every day, you will definitely stand up straight easily, without pushing yourself to do it.

3. No More Back Pain

By strengthening your core while doing planks you are also reducing back pain. Planks make your back muscles stronger.

4. Your Will Boost Your Mood

It is well known that exercising activates your hormone of happiness. The plank does that as well. Moreover, planks relax your muscles and stretch them if they are stiff. If you are sitting for too long plank can release the tension in your muscles.

5. You Will Be More Flexible

While doing planks your muscles expand and stretch. The front plank stretches the muscles around the shoulders and your hamstrings and the side plank stretches your side muscles.