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Healthy tips for busy people. Get the skinny. Start feeling better.

Work Your Core

Work Your Core

by September Summers - March 17, 2015

The plank, as described by American College of Sports Medicine is an isometric core strength exercise, also, known as a front hold, hover or abdominal bridge. The most common is the front plank, held in the push-up position with the body’s weight on forearms, elbows and toes.

Planks are not by any means a new exercise, they have been around for ages. But, what is exciting is the growing popularity and variations of plank exercises. These core busting moves have become newsworthy addition to all fitness blogs, articles, and websites.

Finding new ways to work your core muscles all at once can result in huge gains for your entire body. Plank exercises will burn more calories than a traditional crunch and will also engage more muscle groups all in one move. Here are just a few reasons you should be adding plank exercises to your strength training routine.

1. Doing planks correctly will engage the transverse and rectus adominis as well as obliques and glutes. In other words, your entire mid-section.
2. Planks will also strengthen supporting muscle groups, such as your back, shoulders, gluteus maximus, quadriceps and hamstring muscles.
3. Plank exercises can be done anywhere. You don’t need much space or any equipment!
4. A regular regimen of plank exercises can help you stand tall and good posture is very important for a strong foundation.
5. Doing isometric plank exercise will also help you improve your balance. If your core is weak and your alignment is unstable, your ability to balance and regain balance will be hindered. Falling is the number one reason aging adults experience debilitating injuries.

Planks are not necessarily a special or unusual talent. Anyone can do a plank or a modified version of a plank. If you have back problems or a weak core, start with modifications and be sure to do them correctly. The American College of Sports Medicine has some good information on this subject.

As always, please check with your family physician before starting any new exercise routine.


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