One of the most inspiring blogs on lifestyle and productivity nowadays is LifeHack. For our team it’s a very useful source for tips to help improve all aspects of our lives. One of their bloggers, Szabo Laszlo, an expert in nutrition, exercise and supplementation, posted an article on the effects of planking, on your physical and mental health.
I must admit that I profoundly detest planking. When I’m in a plank position I can hardly wait to quit, my body and mind both scream for attention and it makes every single cell in my body extremely nervous. However, after this terrible ordeal, the world looks like a better place.
The 7 things that will happen to you when you start doing planks as described by Laszlo:
1. You’ll improve core definition and performance
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups, including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes.
2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column
According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain, but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back. Especially in the areas around your upper back. Check out this article to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.
3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism
The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long.
4. You’ll significantly improve your posture
Through strengthening your core you will be able to maintain proper posture at all times because muscles in the abdomen have a profound effect on the overall condition of your neck, shoulders, chest and back.
5. You’ll improve overall balance
Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? Try it…
6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before
This form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes.
An excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.
These arguments are very persuasive, according to me and give me the courage to start (again). My first steps: printing the “5 min work out” picture and take it home. While I’m waiting for the children to get ready for bed, I’ll just start doing it and integrate it into my daily evening routine. The best way to make this a success, is just to do it and not overthink it too much. Wish me luck!
Read Lazslo’s entire blogpost here.