About a year ago I started reading up on this thing called The Plank. I didn’t believe it does anything, but when I saw a similar image like the one I have added here, I was of course intrigued. It was only when I started doing more reading on the topic that I realised how hugely popular the plank is.
The plank is an isometric core strength excercise where the body is held in the same position for as long as possible. This strengthens overall core areas such as abs, glutes, shoulders and back. I was a bit sceptical until I gave it a try myself and believe me it’s hard! On the first one I didI could just about hold myself up for 20 seconds until gravity dragged me down like a magnet. The best thing I could do was to persevere. I started, every day, doing 20 second planks when I got up in the morning. The second week I increased it to 35 seconds and every week to 10 days I increased it by another 15 seconds. After about 6 weeks I was able to hold variations of planks from front and side planks for a full 2 minutes at a time – pretty impressive if I shoud say so myself.
So, what makes the plank such a good excercise? It doesn’t cost you a thing. Well, saying that, I had to invest in yoga socks and a yoga mat, but besides that you don’t need to buy anything else. It really strengthens my core and in turn helps with my overall balance. I used to be quite clumsy and will lose my balance for no reason, but this is where the plank had helped me enourmously. My lower back doesn’t give me problems anymore and overall it helps with my posture, especially since I have a tendency to slouch. The plank is part of my daily routine and only requires 5 minutes of my time, never did I think that it would make such a huge difference to my well being.
If you haven’t tried the plank yet, there are loads of videos online to show you how to do it correctly, however it is always advisable to speak to your GP first if you are not sure if this is the most suitable excercise for you.