By now, you have heard of or at least attempted the plank exercise. It is one of the most universal exercises known to man. The plank is also one of the best to use daily for developing and maintaining a strong core. Here are 5 bonus benefits to doing planks daily.
1. Mental Clarity and Focus
Yes! You will become mentally stronger as you add planks to your daily routine. It's hard to hold a plank and think about a lot of other things. The pain from holding your body off the ground takes 100 percent of your mental attention. This allows you to clear your head of unwanted thoughts, stress from work, what to cook for dinner, and the list goes on. Even if you held a plank for 1 min every day, that's 352 minutes of mental therapy a year.
2. Lengthen your Muscles
Since most people find themselves sitting for lengthy periods of time due to work or lifestyle, the plank is a great exercise to lengthen your muscles from sitting. Tight hip flexors, rounded shoulders, and low back problems are all linked to sitting too much. Holding a plank will put your body in a position that extends the hips, promotes shoulder stability, and it can produce a stronger lower back. These reasons are more than enough to add planks to your life daily.
3. Location, Location, Location
While the plank can be done by anyone, it can also be done anywhere. There are no restrictions and this allows you to be free. In the office, at the park, out in nature, at the gym, in your garage, or wherever you choose. I recall doing a plank on the Roberto Clemente bridge in Pittsburgh. By the way, it landed me a commercial. Take your plank wherever you go!
4. Anxiety Calm
Anxiety impacts millions of people each day, and while medication is often prescribed, there are natural ways to calm the body. Yes planks are an anti-anxiety natural remedy. Exercise serves as a distraction when you are under stress, and planks are one of the best to help calm the body. Get into a plank position and hold it for as long as you can, then lie down on the floor with your arms extended out in front of you. close your eyes and breath deep for about 30 seconds, repeat the plank and the rest position until the anxiety is gone.
5. The Roof and Foundation
You would not attempt to build a house starting with the roof first. As crazy as this sounds, people do it daily in the fitness world. We spend hours on cardio and lifting weights, but very little time on our core. Your core is your foundation! Do not put the roof on first, instead lay a strong foundation to build upon. By doing so, less injuries may occur, post improvements, movement is enhanced, and your lifestyle is free.