Have you added the shelf to your fitness schedule yet? Planks look simple, but this exercise is heavier than it looks. For strong abdominal muscles and better stability, the plank is a good exercise. Planking is becoming increasingly popular and gradually takes the more familiar abdominal exercises such as crunches and sit-ups. In an earlier blog, I described the Plank execution and technique. Based on this explanation, you can perform the Abdominal Plank perfectly. But why is planking so good for you? In this article, I give you 6 reasons why the shelf should appear in every training routine!
Fact: the world record is currently set at 8 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds and is held by George Hood.
6 reasons why you should shelve more often
The Plank is an isometric fitness exercise, which means you keep a static load. With planking, you train your whole body, but the focus is on the abdominal muscles (both straight and oblique) and the lower back muscles. The following 6 reasons will make sure that you go planking more often!
1. The shelf is easy
The basic shelf is not difficult and can be done by anyone. You first lie flat on your stomach and put your elbows under your shoulder. Put your toes in the floor and press your upper body up, continuing to lean on your forearms and toes. Try to make your body a straight plank, your shoulders, hips and feet are a straight line. Make sure your back doesn’t draw too much ball or hollow. You do this by pulling your belly button and tightening your abs. It also helps to keep looking between your hands and not stare forward or down. Read the detailed explanation of the Plank technique here!
Although planks can certainly be heavy and strenuous, in principle anyone can perform the basic variant. One, of course, longer than the other, but practice makes perfect. For both novice athletes and experienced strength athletes, the plank is a good exercise. Do you think the abdominal shelf is a little too heavy? Then you can first try it on your knees and slowly expand into a correct plank.
2. You don’t need devices for it
Another reason that makes shelves good is that you don’t need weights or fitness devices for it. Of course, you can do the plank in the gym, as part of your abdominal muscle training. But even if you’re working at home, you can easily do the plank. You train with your own body weight as a load.
If your elbows or forearms are quickly bothered, a sports mat can be useful. A yoga mat or fitness mat is a small investment that ensures that you can plank anytime, anywhere. If you don’t have a mat at your disposal, you can, of course also grab a thick towel or a rug. This makes shelves an accessible exercise for everyone!
3. You can shelve anytime, anywhere
You don’t need an expensive gym subscription to be able to shelve. An important reason for planking is that you can run it anywhere. As long as you have a flat surface, you can do the plank. For all people who like to exercise at home, the Abdominal Plank is a fine exercise. Put it on the floor of your bedroom, on the beach or in the woods, or of course just at the office during your break. This way, you can stay fit and powerful even during your work!
4. It helps prevent injuries
One of the main reasons to plank more is that this fitness exercise helps prevent injuries. With the plank (and its many variations) you train your core stability or hull stability. This is the corset of muscles around your back, pelvis and abdomen. You must have a strong core, as these muscles are used in performing all kinds of movements. Strong trunk muscles provide a stable base, and this reduces the risk of nasty injuries.
With planking, you strengthen your entire core. This is not only useful in strength sports and performing exercises like the Deadlift or Squat. In other sports such as football, volleyball or martial arts, a good balance and strong hull is also very important.
5. Planking trains almost your entire body
When you perform the plank with a good technique, you strengthen almost your entire body with it. Planking is not only good for your abs and back muscles. For example, it is also easy to train your glutes (gluteus). To keep your body in a straight line, you also need to tighten your buttocks.
A good plank fits perfectly in a workout for training your buttocks. Because you have to keep yourself in balance, the longer you stay in the plank position, you will also feel other muscles. You notice that you are actually training your thighs, arms and shoulders.
6. Many possibilities and variations
Finally, it is important to know that with the shelf you have many more possibilities. If the basic shelf has become too easy for you, you can try countless variations. This makes planking much heavier and allows you to focus on certain muscles or muscle groups.
All these plank variants allow you to follow a complete workout without fitness equipment. Popular variations on the shelf include the Side-Plank, Reverse Plank and Superman shelf. In the video below, you can see 20 challenging plank exercises.