When it comes to building complete core strength (not just your “6-pack muscles”), plank pose reigns supreme. Plank strengthens the rectus abdominis (6-pack muscles), transverse abdominis (deep core stabilizing muscles), and the internal and external obliques (hip and back mobilizing muscles).
Although it’s a bodyweight exercise, plank pose requires a massive amount of strength and falls into the category of resistance training. The strength and muscle mass that can be gained through consistently practicing a 60 second plank offers another amazing benefit – a faster metabolism! As your lean muscle increases, so does your resting metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout your day.
One of the biggest issues associated with core weakness is low back pain. When you perform any movement, your back and core muscles help to stabilize your body. If your core is weak, the surrounding muscles have to overcompensate which can lead to strain and lingering pain. Strengthening your core will help your body move in harmony and alleviate overworking your back muscles.
Strong, healthy core muscles = better posture. As you practice and perfect plank pose, your muscles work diligently to adjust your body’s natural alignment. During a plank, maintaining a long line from your toes to the top of your head is imperative.
Plank pose is an isometric exercise that encourages your body to create stability as a whole. The result? An overall improvement in your balance and coordination. Practicing stabilization in this challenging horizontal position ultimately enhances your ability to stabilize in the more natural vertical state.
A 60 second plank offers the benefits of weight bearing resistance training without the high impact cost to your joints. New bone tissue is created, giving you stronger and healthier bones, while promoting circulation in the joints.
Saved the best for last. Holding a plank (or doing any physical activity) releases endorphins, the feel good neurochemical in your brain that boosts your mood. Plank your way to happiness one minute at a time!