Terminology : Planking

2 May

What?

Planking is an isometric core strength exercise.

Also known as a front hold, hover or abdominal bridge, a plank involves holding a difficult position for extended periods of time.

The front plank is where you use your arms to raise yourself off the floor and hold your body straight and rigid, like a plank of wood. Hence, planking!

 

When?

Planking is often incorporated into core routines because of the effectiveness of the exercise.

The longer you are able to hold the position – provided you hold the position correctly! – the more work your muscles do, and the stronger they become.

With the right routine, (and of course the right diet!) you can work towards those washboard abs with 5 to 10 minutes of planking 2 to 3 times a week.

 

Where?

You don’t require any special equipment to plank – that’s one of the best things about it!

You can literally do it anywhere! Although I’d suggest on a soft/smooth surface, as the force pushing down on your arms/elbows can become uncomfortable over time.

 

Why?

It’s effective and time efficient when done properly!

It tightens the deepest core muscles, by forcing your body to stabilize itself in one position, working the transverse abdominus – the deeper layers of muscle that hold in the the superficial rectus abdominus.

A standard front plank primarily strengthens:

  • abdominals – rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus
  • back – erector spinae

Secondary muscles used in the exercise include:

  • back – trapezius, rhomboids
  • shoulders – deltoids
  • chest – pectorals
  • bottom – glutes
  • legs – quadriceps and gastrocnemius

 

Planks or Crunches?

Planks!

Crunches place too much strain on the lower back, at your back’s weakest point, contributing to poor posture.

 

 

And finally …

Did you know? …

The current world record for the longest held plank position is 1 hour 20 minutes and 5.01 seconds!

This was set by a 54 year old – proof that it’s a great exercise for people of all ages!

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