If you are picturing Johnny Depp on the Pirates of the Caribbean you got the wrong planking. We're diving into (pardon the pun) healthy moves this time.
If you've ever read or followed any health site or magazine, you will have certainly read something about planking and saw a picture of it. You quickly turned the page or clicked the x at the top right of the screen. No way no how were you ever going to be able to get yourself in that position. Ever.
I'm open to trying anything once and if I like it, I'll keep doing it. Planking is one of those things. My first reaction to this was one of bewilderment. How on earth can you stay in that position for longer than 2 seconds? My first attempt had me face planting after 3 seconds. No, it certainly isn't easy at first. Take heart though. Like everything else, it will get easier with time.
1. Your back will thank you.
Maybe not at first. In all honesty, the first time you attempt this your back will yell at you and ask you what the hell you are doing? Go easy in the beginning, but as you start mastering this, your lower back will be a power house and rightfully so, it should be. Planks also help strengthen your back in ways that you never thought imaginable. The more you plank, and the longer you can hold it, the stronger your back. This is crucial especially as we get older to maintain a strong core and back.
2. Your posture will improve.
I know personally, too often I find myself slipping into comfort mode and I know my posture pays the price for this. Plan king will help straighten and keep it strong for you. As your posture tightens up, when you do try t o slouch again it will feel totally uncomfortable and you will immediately straighten u p again. Remember maintaining a good posture is also really good for our spine.
3. More self-confidence.
Who knew? Well think about it. The better our posture, the taller we stand and the more confident we feel. Don't believe me? There are plenty of articles on the web that can prove that stand tall theory to you. You will also feel stronger which also breeds more confidence. The best part is you will feel this instantly. As soon as you stand up, you will automatically feel taller, stronger, healthier and more confident. Try it. Really.
4. Balance is key, always.
We aren't all that great at balancing. Imagine a ti me when you lost your footing and landed flat on your arse. Well planking can help you with your balance. How so? It improves your core which is your stabilizer. When your core is stronger you have more balance, hence saving your butt from unwanted bruising. For those of you that live in areas where winter gets cold, snowy and icy this will be a great benefit to you. And if you are involved in ice sports such as hockey or skating well you will be in better form. A win win really.
5. Calorie burner anyone?
Absolutely a great one, without having to run for miles and miles on the treadmill, all the while toning up your whole body at the same time. When you plank, you are making your body work harder than you think, almost every single muscle is engaged. Obviously the core muscles work the hardest but what about that upper body? And your legs too? It's a challenging move but your metabolism will go through the roof. For those of us who really don't like to go to a gym or are not disciplined enough to break into a full work out at home, try planking. This one move can kick your whole body into calorie burning, muscle toning, back strengthening mode. Starting can be done on your knees and as you get more comfortable and stronger you can then advance to planking on your toes. You'll love this one so much you won't be able to go a day without it.