Everyone knows the Plank.. But do you know the Suspended Plank?
It looks dead easy right, but oh no, once you start holding plank position for even 30 seconds you start to feel it!
The full body benefits of the plank make it a go to low impact exercise and many body weight conditioning classes will have you doing several throughout the session.
Body-weight exercises are certainly gaining more recognition for their simplicity and practicality, and planks are one form of body-weight exercise that stands above the rest.
Planks are not only one of the most effective exercises you can do, but perhaps the simplest of them all.
All you need is enough space to get down on all your fours and stretch out for an ideal plank workout.
It won’t take long to achieve substantial results with doing planks on a regular basis.
Planks Work You to the Core!
Why are planks so good? Well it is because they really target the core muscles.
Your core muscles are a group of muscles throughout your midsection.
They work together to stabilize your entire body and allow you to perform most forms of movement.
A strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further, and aids in preventing injuries.
The plank hits all the major muscle groups of your core that include basically the entire abdominal and buttocks muscles.
(The Transverse Abdominus, the Rectus Abdominus, the External Obliques and the Glute Maximus…)
The core is so important for supporting your back and spinal column.
Adding the plank to your daily workout will allow you to build muscle while not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips.
However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.
By holding yourself in the plank position for an extended amount of time, you’ll notice planks encompass a full spectrum of muscle engagement.
Your arms, shoulder muscles and upper back are also being worked – including the erector spinae, rhomboids, the trapezius muscles and deltoids etc.
As a rather simple movement planks are a great way exercise for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
One of the most effective ways to amplify the plank which will force you to work harder at stabilizing, is by simply lifting up one arm or one foot off the ground,
Or you can perform it on your your palms, on your side or using an unstable surface, such as a stability ball.
This is in fact the added benefit you receive from doing a suspended plank using the yoga swing or aerial hammock!
Because it requires greater control and awareness, balance, stability and coordination to perform a strong plank in suspension.
It therefore engages the core muscles to a greater degree than standard floor plank.
It forces your body to recruit more muscle fibers than otherwise needed on a stable non-moving surface, especially the smaller rotator and stabilizer muscles.
Here are a few other benefits…
Back Pain Relief
According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only ensures a strong support for your entire back, but significantly reduces back pain.
Anyone with disc issues or existing back pain will find planks are safer and more comfortable than crunches because they don’t require flexion of the spine.
Improve Your Balance
Building your core strength will also improve your stability and balance through your body.
You will notice over time as your abdominal muscles strengthen that you will be able to balance better while performing one legged movements.
This can be further enhanced by doing side planks and planks with extensions.
Yes, Planks Enhance Flexibility
You wouldn’t think it, but a key benefit of doing planks regularly is that is enhances your flexibility.
The plank stretches all your posterior muscles, from the shoulders – right through to your toes.
Again, by modifying the plank to side lying, you can also work on your oblique muscles which will provide further benefits.
Maintain Better Posture
Planking exercises can make a great improvement on your posture.
A healthy, aligned posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits.
Such as improved overall effectiveness of your muscles
As well as facilitating breathing and nervous system function, and therefore the optimal operation of your internal organs and digestion.
Not to mention, someone with good posture feels better, healthier, and more confident.
Boost Your Metabolism
Performing them for a few minutes a day can boost your metabolism through the day and even during the night.
Here’s How To Do Suspended Plank
• Position yourself comfortably on your belly, with your feet below your aerial hammock or yoga swing saddle.
• Support your weight and place one foot at a time into the sling and face the floor.
• Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your wrists in line with your elbows.
• Brace yourself and raise yourself off the floor into a strong plank position.
• In this position, contract your abdominal, glute and quad muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.
• Push your body up into your upper back and hold your chin close to your neck.
• Hold a plank at least 20 to 30 seconds.
• Rest for approximately one minute and repeat three to five more times.
Give it a try!
What we are saying is, once you have mastered the traditional floor plank, move on up to suspended exercises.
Start doing the plank in suspension and never plateau again.
All the best!