Flatter tummy : Did you know that the plank is one of the best core-strengthening exercises you can do? This simple position involves lying face down on the floor, resting on your forearms and toes, and lifting your body into a straight diagonal line from head to toe. It may sound easy, but trust us when we say it’s challenging!
Working your core not only strengthens your back and stomach muscles but also helps to flatten your tummy. That’s because these muscles are responsible for supporting your spine and helping you maintain an upright posture. A strong core also improves posture, which makes you look skinnier in clothes. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to master the perfect plank without losing balance or straining your neck.
1) Why is the plank so effective for weight loss?
The plank is one of the most effective exercises for toning your core. The core consists of the muscles that run from your hips to your chest, including your lower back, abdomen, and the muscles in your hips. Exercises that strengthen your core help improve posture, reduce back pain, prevent injuries, and improve your sports performance. Your core (or midsection) is the body’s powerhouse.
It consists of muscles that help stabilize your spine and allow you to perform daily activities such as lifting objects, climbing stairs, and twisting your torso. Regularly strengthening these muscles which include the deep core muscles and the muscles of your back—helps you maintain an upright posture and look slimmer. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that strengthening the back and abdominal muscles may reduce your waist size by up to 2.5 cm.
2) How to do a plank correctly
– Get into position: Begin lying facedown with your legs straight and your arms extended so that your palms rest on the floor just underneath your shoulders. Next, tuck your toes and lift your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your toes. Breathe normally: The key to the plank is to maintain a straight line from your head to your heels while breathing smoothly and steadily through your nose.
Hold the position: Hold the plank position for at least 30 seconds. As you become stronger, you can hold the position for longer durations. – Keep your neck in line with your spine: Although it may be tempting to rest your head on the floor, try to keep your neck in line with your spine. Doing so will help you avoid straining your neck muscles.
Don’t forget to squeeze your glutes Contracting your glute muscles will help you maintain proper alignment and keep your hips lifted while you hold the position. – Adjust the plank if you experience pain: If you experience pain in your back or knees, modify the position by placing your knees on the floor.
3) Plank variations for a flatter tummy
The plank is the most common core-strengthening exercise and is a great place to start your workout routine. But did you know you can make this simple exercise even more effective for toning your abs and strengthening your back? By switching up your foot position and adding some arm variations, you’ll increase the intensity of your workout and see even better results.
The stability plank: This variation is great for beginners and people with knee issues, as it places more of the load on the core than on the knees. Start in the standard plank position, but place one foot on a yoga mat, pillow, or exercise mat to elevate the foot. You can also try this with both feet. The front plank: The front plank is another variation that places more of the work on the core muscles.
Start in the same position as the standard plank, but turn your body so that your shoulders are facing the floor. The side plank: The side plank targets the obliques, the muscles on the sides of your torso. To perform this variation, start in the standard plank position but turn your body so that one forearm is touching the side of your body. – The cobra plank push-up: This advanced variation is both challenging and effective.
Start in the standard plank position, but lower yourself towards the floor while maintaining a straight line from head to toe. – The bridge: The bridge is a challenging exercise that targets your glutes and hamstrings while also working your core. Start in the standard plank position, but lift your hips off the floor and push your heels towards the ceiling.
4) Tummy-flattening move 2: The side plank
The side plank is a great exercise for targeting your obliques and creating a flatter tummy. This variation is great for beginners as it’s not as challenging as a regular plank, meaning you can hold it for longer. – Start by lying on your side with your legs straight and your top forearm resting on the floor under your shoulder. – Bend your knees if you need to. – Lift your hips towards the sky until your body forms a straight line from your feet to your head. – Hold for the desired amount of time and then switch sides. – Repeat for 3 sets on each side.
5) Tummy-flattening move 3: The cobra plank push-up
The cobra plank push-up is a challenging core exercise that’s great for toning your upper body while also working your core. – Start in the standard plank position with your forearms on the floor and your feet together. – Slowly lower yourself towards the floor while keeping your back straight and your core engaged. – Once your chest is almost touching the floor, push yourself back up using your arms. – Hold the plank position at the top of the push-up for a few seconds. – Repeat for 3 sets.
6) Tummy-flattening move 4: The Bridge
The bridge is a great core exercise that targets your glutes and hamstrings while also engaging your core muscles. – Start in the standard plank position, with your feet together and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. – Slowly lift your hips off the floor and push your heels towards the ceiling to create a straight line from your head to your heels. – Hold the bridge position for 30 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. – Repeat for 3 sets.
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The plank is a great abdominal exercise, but it can also help strengthen your back and improve your posture. That’s why it’s so important to do it correctly and make sure you’re engaging your core throughout the exercise. Once you understand how to do the plank correctly, you can spice it up by adding one of the variations we’ve listed above. Doing so will help you see faster results and make your workout routine more challenging.
Try to fit the plank into your workout routine at least once a week. You can also use it as a corrective exercise if you’ve experienced back pain or injury. The plank is a great exercise for everyone, regardless of fitness level. If you can’t hold the plank position for 30 seconds, don’t get discouraged. Just lower the difficulty of the exercise until you can perform the movement correctly.