Before discussing the plank benefits, Let’s talk about some hidden science of core training. Actually, there are plenty of apps, articles, and videos with workout plans to forget a flat ripped stomach and shredded core muscles. But most of the guys don’t know about the real science behind this core muscle building and strengthening.

Why you want to build strong Abdominal muscles?

  • 1.Strong Abs give a great balance for your body
  • 2.Strong core improves your breathing
  • 3.You can boost your digestion by strengthening your core musculature
  • 4.Strong abs will make your bones stronger
  • 5.Strengthening abdominals has been shown to increase your performance level in   any field

If you want to see a six-pack yourself, you have to focus on following muscles. Let’s discuss their structure and how they attach to the bones.

  • External Oblique muscle

Two parts of this muscle are situated at the side of the abdominal area. Its fibers go like your hands put into your side pockets of the trouser. This is the largest of the three flat abdominal muscles. When this muscle contracts it pulls the chest down and it also significant for the rotation of the trunk

  • Internal oblique muscle

This muscle is also located at the sides of the body and below the external oblique muscle. Its fibers go in the opposite direction when it compares to the external oblique muscle.  Its action is mainly sided bending and it also aids for the rotation

  • Rectus abdominis muscle

This is long and vertically running muscle along the front of the abdomen. This muscle vital for the trunk flexion.

  • Transverse abdominis muscle

It is located along the sides and front of the abdominal wall. This the deepest muscle out of the main abdominal muscles. This muscle stabilizes the pelvis and the spine. But it does not involve any movement

  • Erector Spinae muscle

This is a group of three muscles which are iliocostalis, longissimus, and spinalis. Fibers of these muscles run parallel to each other from the sacrum to the neck. This group of muscles involves extending the back. It also involves the side to side rotation.

Plank exercise can boost your abdominal muscle growth and strength. It is the most popular core exercise among the young community.

Basic plank exercises and it’s variations

You can do a plank in various ways. However, if you are a beginner you have to focus on basic plank exercise for getting plank benefits right from the beginning. When you become an expert in that position, you can move to advanced techniques.

  • Straight arm plank: Basic way

Image by Taco Fleur from Pixabay

No equipment needed. You can use use you home floor. It’s good you do it on a mat

ProcedurePlace your elbows directly below the shoulders, your palms on the floor, legs should be placed hip-width apart and ankles at 90°. Finally, you have to tilt the pelvis in a neutral position.

Modification: You can perform on knees to make it easier

Common faults: can’t maintain straight lower back. Mal-alignment of shoulders and wrist
Variations: Leg raised plank, Knee to chest, Twisted knee to chest, Mountain climber, and so on( these exercises are tougher than basic procedure)

Elbow plank

Here, you need to bend your elbows 900, and the rest of the procedure is the same as a basic plank

Side plank
Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

After you master the basic plank, you can move to the side plank exercises.

No equipment, perform it on the floor (or Mat),

Procedure: Place the working hand on the floor directly under the shoulder and your palm on the floor. Place your hips and feet on top of one another to maintain a straight line. raise your free hand into 90 degrees without bending from the elbow. Do it for both sides

Modification: If you are unable to do this properly, you can make it easy by performing on one knee with spilt feet.

Common faults: can’t maintain a straight line of the body without bending, Hips rotated forward or backward, Hand placement more forward than the shoulder.

Variations: Foot taps, Side plank with hip Dips, side plank with knee crunches

Fitness specialists are doing many studies for assessing the effectiveness of these various types of plank exercises.


How long should you hold your body in plank position?

This is a very general question among the guys who are adding plank for their core strengthening workout plan. Actually, there is no exact time for that. But according to studies, if you can hold it for one minute that is enough. Then you are able to move the complex variations from the basic mode. If you are a beginner, start it from 30 seconds.

benefits of plank:

Here, we bring you 7 key plank benefits. If you are engaging with plank prolong time check out the below benefits.

1. Plank Improves your core strength

As we discussed earlier, core strength is such a vital aspect of your healthy life. Plank is one of the easiest and most effective exercises to build it. Especially, this plank exercise strengthens the core and work upper and lower body muscles.

When you perform plank exercises, you activate all the abdominal muscles that I mention earlier. Apart from that it also works for following upper body and lower body muscles.

Upper body

  • Trapezius
  • Rhomboids major and Rhomboid minor
  • Rotator cuff muscles
  • Deltoid
  • Pectoralis major
  • Triceps brachii
  • Biceps brachii

Lower body

  • Quadriceps muscles
  • Gastrocnemius muscle
2. Improve your posture

A strong core is essential for good posture. As well as good posture has multiple befits such as improving breathing quality, maintaining good spinal health. Plank exercises directly address the abdominal muscles and activate them. As well as it works for back muscles such as Trapezius, Pectoralis muscles. When you perform abdominal exercises such as sit-ups, it may cause muscle imbalances. But planks work for the front side and back of the body same time. When muscles of both sides are comparably developed, you can feel better posture.

3. Variety of the plank Exercise

Plank is a versatile exercise. If one type of plank doesn’t bring better results for you or you can’t do it since injury, body shape, imbalance, you can move to another type of plank exercise. Actually, there are countless variations. Here, we bring you the most common and effective methods. Not only that, Recent research studies have shown what plank exercise is better for what muscles. So, now you can isolate your core muscles, and train it if you want to strengthen it more.

4. Enhance your flexibility and balance

Plank improves your flexibility as well as it reduces your risk of injury.  By doing plank exercise regularly, it stretches your muscles. Especially back muscles, hamstring muscle group, calf muscles. So, it causes for the uplifting of your flexibility. Flexibility of your body is a great benefit for you to keep active life style without boring or any pain.

As I told you earlier, By doing plank we can develop muscles of the both sides of the body, it prevents muscle imbalances and get rid of fallen injuries. Specially for sports guys, they try maintain a really good static and dynamic balance of their body to gain the maximum outcome of their sport.

5. Relieve your back pain and get rid of other joint pains

When you activate the core muscles and back muscles specially plank exercises strengthen upper back muscles. So, it enhances your posture as well as you can get rid of back pain and neck pain. It is actually an extra advantage of improving posture. The plank is maintaining a neutral spine, so it helps for getting rid of many spine-related joint diseases as well.

Recent studies show some link between the core strength and degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. It reveals that older adults with lumbar osteoarthritis haven’t the proper quality of life without strong core muscles

6. Increase in metabolism and Fat burn

By activating your core muscles, it will boost your digestion. Also, specific core training also enhances your breathing by reinforcing your diaphragm. Not only the lungs, but Diaphragm also plays a major role in breathing.

You need to add a plank for your workout plan and consistently doing it. So, that will exactly uplift your metabolism rate and burn more fat even with the abdominal fat. Then you are able to make some hope about your six-packs. So, Plank can be used as a major exercise of your fat-burning process.

7. Reduce stress and improve mood

This is a really common benefit that can gain by exercises, planks also can lift your spirits. It also makes you much happier. Specially desk workers can stretch and relax your neck muscles. If you are a worker with prolong sitting, you should experience that your shoulders and back stiffness.

Bottom line

The plank exercise is really effective way of uplifting your core strength. Meanwhile, Plank benefits are significant for a healthy life. Actually, Plank is a fantastic core strengthening and weight-bearing exercise. Create the best workout plan for your core and make six pack a reality.

credits for featured image:

Woman photo created by freepik –

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